Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The 'Hatred' for Nigerians Runs Deep in Goa. Really?

There has been an uproar over the death of a Nigerian national in the state of Goa, Konkan, west India. A group of African looking men were shown barricading the high way. They reportedly attacked Police officers who mobilised to the scene, vandalised public property and attacked members of the local community.

As expected the locals will want to react decisively to the absolute madness going on in their community. What guts? Foreigners blocking our streets, brandishing machetes and attacking our people. I doubt even the most immigration friendly country will tolerate that.

Negative stereotypes don't just appear from no where, stereotypes need to be feed to shape overall perceptions. Nigerians are being accused of drug trafficking, scamming and gangsterism. An accusation we have to deal with world wide. The Indians must have also seen one too many of such cases in their community.

Looking back over the years, I've observed a pattern where these so called "Innocent Nigerians" clash with their host communities. 99% of Nigerians that get killed in Asian countries, die for three reasons, Women, Drugs and Fraud. We've seen this in Europe too, Italy for example, where Nigerians were shot, execution style over what is believed to be a drug war. We read a few months ago about a Nigerian found dead on a private beach in Cyprus after speaking to a local's girl friend in a night club.

The story is the same in Asia, Malaysia. Nigerian killed for cheating two local men, Nigerian sentenced to death for drug trafficking (Several cases). Singapore, Nigerian executed for drug trafficking, Nigerian thrown out of 10 storey building window over drug and gang related issue, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and the list goes on.

Back to the Goa case. A Nigerian diplomat/consular attache named Jacob Nwadadia had this to say about the reaction of the police and government in Goa.
"There are only 50,000 Nigerians living in India but there are over a million Indians living in Nigeria. Thousands of Indians living there will be thrown out on the streets if the forcible eviction of Nigerians in Goa does not stop,"
 Can you imagine? A diplomat's response to his country's biggest oil buyer in a case where his fellow nationals took to public disturbance, violence and vandalism because of perceived injustice. A situation where a high number of his country men are believed to be illegal immigrants. What kind of foreigner identifies himself with just a photocopied paper of the data page of his international passport? Nwadadia needs to learn not to speak carelessly in sensitive situations as this. A diplomat threatening his host country will only get him expelled. At least, be subliminal.

I'm not ruling out the existence of racism, it's a daily problem for minorities in most societies, but these "Nigerians" make it difficult for real victims to present their case.

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