The crowd sourced anger of Nigerians and the Nigerian government which was channeled towards South Africa must have produced some fruits afterall. That the South African government sent special envoys to apologise and have further talks with the Nigerian government at the seat of government in Abuja on Monday is a good augur to start with.
The recent series of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa, which began on September 1, is not the first ever. But it is certainly one of the first time Nigerians went out of their way to speak en-masse for the fundamental rights of their fellow citizens living in the diaspora.
The wave of these hate-filled attacks on Nigerians took a hike particularly in 2019 as attacks were recorded not only in South Africa but also in Ghana and Togo. In all of the cases; atleast, properties of Nigerians running into millions of Naira and lives were lost to the batches of ugly episode.
It was when Nigerians decided that enough was enough, and spoke out against the hatred being meted on Nigerians earning their keep abroad, that the Nigerian government woke up to what they should have been doing all along.
In the past when Nigerian lives were lost to xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the government seemed to gloss over it. It was however at this time, when the South African ambassador to Nigeria, Bobby Monroe, boldly claimed no Nigeria lives were lost that definite steps were then taken.
The recent turn of events alone should embolden Nigerians to not only protest to host foreigners that they deserve to be treated decently anywhere they go; but that they can as well demand for what is deserving of their citizenship from the Nigerian government as taxpaying citizens.
Since the advent of using social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp for effective citizen mobilization in modern societies and especially in Nigeria, there has been changes in government responsiveness to issues of national, social, cultural and economic importance. Regulators, ministries, agencies and other departments of government have either been forced to perform their designated roles with better fairness and/or shamed into uprightness on social media.
Strangely enough, when the Ministry of Information under the headship of Lai Mohammed once hinted that fake news will be deeply monitored on social media and perpetrators hunted down, the same social media pressured the government to drop the choke order.
With the extent of the successes recorded with social media mobilization of late, some Nigerians are yet to realise the great power they have in exerting their Vox Populi – the voice of the people – to the maximum.
Featured Image Source: Legit NG