A Lagos-based lawyer and human rights activist, Jiti Ogunye, has advised the Federal Government to make emigration unattractive by fixing the country.
It is a means of tackling the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the lawyer posits.
Ogunye, in an interview with our Correspondent on Tuesday, stated that boycotting South African firms operating in Nigeria would not solve the problems that cause Nigerians to flee to other conflict-ridden countries.
He said, “There is a Yoruba proverb, Ile la ti n ko eso rode, meaning, how you want to be in public will be determined by how well behaved and conducted you are at home.
My belief is that if we fix our country, that won’t end xenophobic attacks elsewhere against our nationals, but it will make or country a veritable sanctuary for our people so that if they are being harassed elsewhere, they can come home and then earn a decent living.
“So, this is not the time to say, ‘Let’s deal with them in Nigeria: MTN, DStv and Shoprite are there.’”
He noted that, though Nigerians could express disgust, there was the need to look inward, adding that the country should not be turned into a war zone that people flee from perpetually.
Ogunye said, “We should fix our country politically, socially and economically.
We should make our country attractive to our countrymen and women.
You are talking about South Africa. Nigerians are marooned in Libya. They keep bringing them back, but they keep going back.
So, what is it in our country that has made war-torn areas of the world attractive to our nationals?
Our people cross the Mediterranean and they die there because they want to get to Europe. They are very desperate to get there.
“Why is it that every day you go to foreign embassies in Nigeria, they are a marketplace? It is because Nigerians are desperate to get out of this country. The task to fix Nigeria is very desperate and urgent.”
According to the lawyer, while decrying the “madness” going on in South Africa, condemning it and calling for a cessation of the madness, compatriots should seize the moment as a time for serious sober reflection.
Nigerians can be genuinely angry about what is going on in South Africa.
On social media, in the mainstream media and everywhere, you see Nigerians expressing disgust and annoyance, and you can see patriotism and solidarity being exhibited.
We are talking about 130 Nigerians being killed in South Africa and businesses being destroyed.
In Nigeria, on a daily basis, how many deaths do we record due to violent crimes, kidnappings and banditry?
Even among our ethnic nationalities, we see all this going on in, more or less, the same way we have in South Africa now,” he added.