By Solomon Odeniyi
A professor of Political Science in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife Osun state , Prof Olufemi Mimiko has berated the actions of president Buhari Muhammadu during the heat of the attacks on Nigerians and other nationals in South Africa.
Mimiko said it took the deafening outcries of the citizens of the country before the president could act on the issue.
He also said the president was too eager to take the apology of South Africa, adding that the Nigerian government should have used the opportunity to make a list of demands from the South African government.
Mimiko who spoke while delivering a lecture themed: “Xenophobia As Bogeyman: A Deconstruction Of The Post-Aparthied State In South Africa And The Challenges Of Development And Regional Relevance” at the Obafemi Awolowo faculty of social sciences said Buhari’s journey to South Africa was also Ill-timed.
He said, “Nigeria did not act well when the attacks began. It was evident that the citizens of the country that push the government to action through the various outcries especially on social media. The citizens took charge of diplomacy.
“Nigeria was too eager to take the apology of the South African government. If I was one of the president’s advisers I would have told him not to travel to South Africa irrespective of the bilateral issues were on the table between the two countries. If we needed to continue to push those issues it should have been taken to a lower level. Buhari should have at least delay the travel for a while. The president should not have been allowed to go at the time he did. A delay or reschedule is a form of pressure. This, in foreign policy is very important.
“Yes it was good they apologized. But he did not send his after our president had sent an envoy to him. We should have used that to negotiate a lot of things which included the compensations for victims and the resignation of the minister that openly supported the attacks in South Africa among other demands.
“With what Buhari did he did not consider other African nationalities who were affected by the attacks . “
Mimiko also said the attacks on Nigerians was a demonstration that the country has lost it respect and goodwill among the comity of nations.
The Don wondered who would respect a nation being described as the headquarters of world poverty, a nation with 13 million out of school children, a country with highest mortality rate, stressing that people on the streets of South Africa were not oblivious of these facts which was why they moved against Nigerians.
Mimiko said despite the attacks on many nationalities ,the South Africans did not attack some nationals of some countries because of the respect they had for these countries.
He added that Nigerians in other countries of the world would continue to witness attacks of this nature if the leaders fails to develop the country.
He also faulted the creation of disporal commission, describing it as” nonsensical “.
He said it was the reason the ministry of foreign affairs could not act timely when the attacks began.
Mimiko said if the disposal commission must exist it must be made to report to the ministry otherwise the kind of confusion witnessed would continue.