Shina Abubakar – Osogbo
A Professor of Political Science in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Osun state on Thursday said Nigeria has lost its pride of place in the comity of nation globally.
He said the attack on Nigerians was a demonstration that the country has lost its respect and goodwill among countries in Africa.
Mimiko wondered which country would respect a nation described as the headquarters of poverty across the world, and with 13 million out of school children as well as having the highest mortality rate.
He emphasised that people on the streets of South Africa were not oblivious of these facts which were why they moved against Nigerians.
According to him, despite the attacks on many nationalities, South Africans did not attack the nationals of some countries because of the respect they had for these countries.
He also condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the country a few weeks after xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
While faulting the actions of the president, Mimiko said it took the outcry of the citizens of the country before the president could act on the issue.
He said, “Nigeria did not act well when the attacks began. It was evident that citizens push the government to action through the various outcries especially on social media. The people took charge of diplomacy.
“Nigeria was too eager to take the apology of the South African government. If I were one of the president’s advisers I would have told him not to go at the time he did. To think that the South African President did not send an envoy until Buhari sent his. Yes, he apologized but he ought to have apologized before President Buhari’s sent envoy to the country.
“We should have used the window of their apology to negotiate a lot of things which included the compensations for victims and the resignation of the minister that supported the action.
“With what Buhari did, he did not consider other nationalities who were affected by the attacks.”
He added that Nigerians in other countries of the world would continue to witness attacks of this nature if leaders fail to develop the country.
He also faulted the creation of diaspora commission, describing it as ‘nonsensical’, since there was a Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, he insisted that the commission should be made to report to the ministry so that there would not be a breakdown of command in their functions.