The spectacle on its own was in one hand movie-like and on the other hand mind boggling as a middle aged man identified as a Nigerian Diplomat was pinned down by Indonesian Immigration Officials into the seat leathers of a car. It was obvious that the victim of this brute force was in excruciating pains and clearly asphyxiating as he beckoned on humanity for rescue and safety. The entire scenario is reminiscent of the horror and a re-enactment of every episode of the George Floyd saga.
“Yeeeeee, Yeeeeeee, Yeeeeeee” a disturbing and agonizing utterance from the dying man’s guts. This did not yield any sympathy from the narcissists Indonesians as they pressed on with more damaging force. It was obvious that the milk of kindness in the officials’ has dried up while watchers of the drama discharged tears freely from the eyes in sympathy with the Diplomat’s predicament.
” Yeeeeeeeee, Yeeeeeee. I can’tbreathe, I can’t breathe…….”said the man in bondage. To a cursory observer, the possibility of looming death of the man was palpable. After all, a similar situation led to the expiration of Floyd in the United States of America.
The real issue here is not the Diplomatic affiliation of the victim but the need to re-examine the brutish tendencies of the Indonesians to a fellow human, it was too obvious from the viral video that the officials were nor propelled by the accomplishment of their duties but by deliberate and calculated intent to commit murder. Having seen the debacle of the George Floyd’s saga in the United States of America, one would have expected a more cautious and sensible approach to the delicate situation. Why would humanity be so inhumane to humanity? Unless these Indonesians are intellectually deficient, they should know that a middle aged man could privately be nursing some health challenges and that pinning down the cranium with intense force while another young man placed his foot heavily on his chest could simply have snuffed life out of him.
The Minister for foreign Affairs of Nigeria should know that it is not the articulation of English Grammar but prompt and decisive action that can assuage the frayed nerves of Nigerians over this dastardly act. It is time to stop playing the ostrich and show to the world that the life of every Nigerian matters. This type of drama happens every day to Nigerians in every part of the world as they face deportation from other countries. It is the unwillingness of the father to act in the home that sometimes prompt siblings to take laws into their hands because if the Nigerian Government fails to impose proper diplomatic sanctions against erring countries in this regard you may soon see situations where citizens of countries that take delight in attacking Nigerians are also reciprocally hounded and harassed in Nigeria. No section of today’s world has monopoly of violence and senseless acts of indiscretion. I have witnessed deportation of Nigerians from some countries and have seen how they were rendered to an extreme sub-human condition to get them to return home. France and some European countries are notorious in this regard.
The Nigerian is not the only citizen of the world known for mass migration and desperate search for greener pasture and he should therefore not be the target of countries that are intolerant of foreigners. Apart from crime which is not an exclusive preserve of the Nigerian and for which nobody cannot blame a host country from curtailing in whatever manner it adjudged to suit its environment, the citizens of every part of the world has the right to live and thrive in any soil of the universe without intimidation and harassment.
The problem is that the world is yet to understand the culture of the Nigerian that wherever he finds himself is his home where he would do his daily business indifferent to the fact that he is ‘different’ from his host. Foreigners who have the opportunity to live in Nigeria must have observed that Nigerians rarely question the difference of their guests either in terms of creed, religion or race. In fact, in Nigeria, foreigners live, thrive, exists and transact the daily business without intimidation from other law abiding citizens and government officials. They are treated with utmost respect and sometimes “undeserved” reverence. Undeserved because most countries rarely interchange this gesture. The Nigerian culture protects and honours the guests.
This is not to say that one is supportive of a situation where Nigerians seek sojourn in every part of the world without selective preference between a hostile and a friendly environment. Otherwise, one cannot imagine a situation where Nigerians are found to be illegal immigrants in an inhabitable place like Indonesia, a country that is seriously struggling to get its acts together. No wonder their immigration became swollen headed with psychological effect of believing that they have a superior country. What an illusion of grandeur!
Professor Ojikutu is of the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Lagos.