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Nigerians and criminal activities in South Africa: The need for urgent action



Nigerians and criminal activities in South Africa: The need for urgent action

Time and time again, Nigerians have been in the news for the wrong reasons. This time, the massacre that was carried out by gunmen on the 6th of August, 2017 reveals so much about the criminal activities of Nigerians across the world. It is well known that criminal activities are not sociologically entrenched in a particular people…rather it is entrenched in the global social system.

Yet, the name of Nigeria and Nigerians is, many times, associated with criminal activities across the world.

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Drug trafficking is a lucrative criminal activity that is being tackled by most governments across the world due to the destructive nature of these substances. Amongst the very well-known drugs are Cocaine, LSD, Marijuana, Heroin etc. These drugs are mind altering substances well-known for their ability to alter the state and conditions of logical reasoning. Due to their prohibitive nature, governments have tagged them “Hard Drugs” and because of their non-availability on shelves, they are the gold mines of drug dealers.
Nigerians nabbed in India for drug peddling

File photo: Nigerians nabbed in India for drug peddling

Nigerians are an adventurous people. In every part of the world, there are high chances that one would find a Nigerian well grounded in the social and in fact the political system of such vicinities. Nigerians are many in places such as UK; Europe; America (US); South America, notably Brazil, which has become a transit haven for Nigerian drug lords. This is not to opine or affirm that Nigerians in their generality are dubious or criminal people…..No!

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There are many honest Nigerians out there in the diaspora, who are involved in legitimate businesses and vocations for the good of their host communities and the Nigerian state through remittance from foreign exchange. The focus of the writer here is on Nigerians who have decided to give the nation a bad name out there.

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South Africa became a destination of some sorts to Nigerians in the early 1990s and the transit to the former Apartheid enclave has become en masse in the recent times. The high-level diplomatic relations between Abuja and Pretoria over the years has also contributed more to this movement of factors and demography.

Yet, there is a sore point in the relations between the two countries in recent times. Drugs! During the early 1983s, the Buhari-Idiagbon regime made drug business a capital punishment punishable by death as three suspects were sentenced to death by firing squad using Decree 20 as the basis for the executions. Notwithstanding the dire consequences, the malaise still continued.

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Many Nigerians living in South Africa are mostly seen as criminals by their hosts and this is for very good reasons. A look at some Nigerian nationals in South Africa, if the truth is to be told no matter how bitter it may sound, reveals that many are basically involved in criminal activities. Nigerians are now tagged the Sicilians of Africa due to their ability to export vices across to the Cape coast and beyond.

A visit to South African jails also reveals a high demography of Nigerian inmates in these gaols mostly due to drug peddling!

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The Evans “the Kidnaping kingpin” case which went viral in the nation’s sphere in June had the suspect confessing to being a drug peddler in South Africa. Against all odds, if the case of Evans the suspected kidnapper is an isolated one, how do we reconcile with the latest mayhem at Ozubulu, an agrarian town in Ekwusigo LGA of Anambra State where violence was unleashed in a church?
Evans confessed to selling drugs in South Africa

The rumors centered on drug-deals-gone-sour in which violence was exported from South Africa if that version is to be believed.

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The Governor, Willie Obiano, in THISDAY newspaper of August 14, 2017, rumored to have has said it had to do with issues of drugs from South Africa. The same traditional ruler of the town had also come out to give hints about violence being exported from Mandela’s enclave into Nigeria on August 6, 2017.

Casualties in the Ozubulu church shooting in Anambra.

To avoid tainting innocent Nigerians with the brush of criminality and suspicion,  it is high time the government got tougher with sanctions on drugs and it attendant criminal activities in and out of the nation.

The government should also endeavour to allow creativity and ingenuity on the part of Nigerians to blossom thereby limiting the numbers of potential drug barons and users.

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