South African Government Complicit, Won’t Prosecute Their Citizens – Historian

 

A senior lecturer in the Department of History, Lagos State University, Dr Dapo Thomas, has accused the South African government of complicity in the recent attacks on foreigners in the country.

Thomas, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, blamed the government for the xenophobic attack that left some dead, stressing that the country will not prosecute their citizens involved in the dastardly act.

When asked if the South African government was complicit in the Xenophobic attack, Thomas replied in the affirmative saying: “Obviously.”

“The South African government is actively involved but diplomatically, they wouldn’t let you know. And these are some of the things.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Government Boycotts World Economic Forum In South Africa

“The statement they are making now will be the statement they will continue to make over time. How many times have you seen anybody, one single person being tried for xenophobic attacks? They wouldn’t try their own citizens for attacking other citizens for something which they believe is legitimately theirs,” he said.

Reacting to the call made by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa calling for the end to the attacks on foreigners, the historian insisted that his plea wouldn’t have any effect on the citizens.

Speaking further, he said that South African citizens don’t usually travel to other countries unlike Nigerians and other citizens that go there for business.

A senior lecturer in the Department of History, Lagos State University, Dr. Dapo Thomas, has accused the South African government of complicity in the recent attacks on foreigners in the country.

This, to Dr Thomas, is because the country avails foreigners of many opportunities to make ends meet.

His comment follow the recent attacks on foreign nationals, mostly Nigerians, an act that has received global condemnation with the African Union calling for the immediate end to the attacks.

The Federal Government has issued a travel advisory warning citizens to avoid the country until the situation improves; the government has also joined those of some other African countries to boycott the ongoing World Economic Forum in South Africa.

U.S. Visit: Buhari Should Consider State Interest First – Thomas

Dapo-Thomas on President Buhari visitThe Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been urged to ensure that he keeps the interest of the nation at heart while holding talks with the American President Barack Obama, during his visit to the U.S.

An International Relations expert, Dapo Thomas, made the comment on Friday while giving his opinion on the four-day visit of President Buhari which would commence on Sunday.

The Nigerian President is scheduled to meet with President Obama on Monday to hold high-level talks on terrorism, economy and other issues of interest to both nations.

Mr Thomas, however, said that part of what the meeting could achieve for the Nigerian government was a presentation of a framework of the Buhari administration’s plans and its policy thrust towards the American government to President Obama and other top officials of the U.S. government.

The International Relations expert stressed that the interest of Nigeria should come first in the discussion, to lay further foundation for other administrations that would come after President Buhari.

He pointed out that previous administrations had failed to establish an institutional framework in their previous meetings with the American government, as personal and party interests had been presented rather than that of the nation.

“He [Buhari] has to establish a framework of how he intends to work.

“He will be trying to convince the U.S. that he has not only attached a degree of seriousness to the past government. He has to show them that he means business and that it is not business as usual.

“He is expected to establish parameters of new relations with the American government.

“In the establishment of the parameters, he should first consider the state. Not individual or party’s interest before state.

“If an institutional framework had been established for interactions with the U.S., with the state in focus, there would not have been the need for a visit,” he said.

Be believes that Nigeria’s deepened alliance with the U.S would be a morale booster for Nigeria, but he stressed that as much as the U.S. could provide support to Nigeria in counter-terrorism operations, it was not certain that the U.S. could provide needed support in line with suicide bombing, the form which recent attacks on communities and places of worship in the north-east had taken.

He said the U.S. had limited experience in handling suicide bombing issues.

On economic relations between both countries, Mr Thomas also expressed worries that Nigeria may not benefit so much from the U.S., as Nigeria’s crude oil export to the nation had dropped.

He, however, said that every alliance, well thought out, would bring the nation needed positive outcome.

Nigeria Has Serious Foreign Policy Paucity – Expert

Dapo Thomas - International Relations ExpertAn international relations expert on Wednesday questioned the strength of Nigeria’s foreign policy, maintaining that Nigeria has “serious foreign policy paucity”.

Mr Dapo Thomas, speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily, further noted that “we (Nigeria) are not proactive, reactive or active in pursuing our foreign policies”, adding that Nigeria’s foreign policy activity has remained in “total docility”.

He said pursuing foreign policy must go beyond talking and releasing statements adding that Nigeria must begin to “show other nations that if you this for us, we will do that for you”.

He further noted that other nations hurt Nigeria because “they don’t see you (Nigeria) as being capable of doing anything in case they wrong you”.

Mr Thomas urged the Nigerian authorities to rebuild the country’s status and stature “and then try to show that this is a nation with credible people”, adding that “there is virtually no country in this world that doesn’t have its own bad side or criminal elements”, he added.

He noted that these problems can only be solved if Nigeria has “leaders with vision and political will to let the international community know that this is a new Nigeria.

He, however noted that for Nigeria to gain its respect amongst other nations, “there are necessary things to be done that can enhance Nigeria’s image.

“You have to fight corruption, you have to ensure that the judicial system is working and it won’t take a long time before people can seek redress and get justice.

“All these things are done in civilised nations, so, they should be done here”, insisting that “when these things are done, then we can begin to leverage on credibility”, noting that “now we have credibility and policy deficit and all these things are affecting our image” he said.

Mr Thomas noted that it would have been difficult for the world to make Indonesia succumb to pressure and pardon the four Nigerians and other nationals sentenced to death for drug trafficking, because “statistics in the country shows that 33 people die daily due to the use of heroin.

“A country where 33 citizens die daily introduces measures because it feels the measures will reduce the trade in the country and with the kind of publicity and attention this has received, I want to believe that it will discourage and reduce the trend in Indonesia.”, he said.

It will be recalled that four Nigerians were executed in Indonesia for drug related offences. They were executed by firing squad on Tuesday, despite pleas by the Nigerian government, UN and Amnesty International for the death sentence to be lifted.

The men had tried to smuggle heroine into the country. The four Nigerians, had originally been sentenced between 1999, and 2004, for different drug-related offences.

Nigeria’s Foreign Policy No Longer Practical – Analyst

A Foreign Affairs Analyst, Dapo Thomas, on Monday said that the current framework of the nation’s foreign policy exists only on paper and is not practical as the principles therein are outdated and irrelevant in contemporary times.

The International relations lecturer at the University of Lagos, while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, decried the continued inclusion of two outdated principles, decolonisation and non-alignment, in the framework.

“It’s unfortunate that the way we look at foreign policy or the way we manage our foreign policy in Nigeria, has been very lackadaisical, in terms of our response to challenges, dilemmas of the international system,” he said.

He averred that circumstances in the past necessitated the formulation of the five principles which form the framework of Nigeria’s foreign policy.

  • Respect for the sovereignty of other nations
  • Non-alignment
  • Multilateral diplomacy
  • Decolonization
  • Noninterference in the affairs of other nations

Hence, these fundamentals were adhered to when issues like decolonization was crucial in Africa, particularly in the liberation of South Africa from apartheid regime. The principle of non-alignment was as included a result of the cold war. “They had some meaning,” he added.

However, Mr Thomas argued that they are now irrelevant and the other three principles are germane contemporarily.

“I don’t know what we are still doing with those two, non-alignment and decolonization. When you are talking of non-alignment, you should know that whether you want to agree that what we have now is the dominance of the United States (the question is) what has been our reaction (response) to this development, the unipolar system?” he asked.

He opined that Nigeria’s reaction has been conservative. “Conservative to the point that we still believe in ‘process as usual’ meaning we relate with the US on the basis that we had a western-oriented or westerncentric foreign policy.”

He stressed in the need to ‘react’ to the ideological, present evolutionary system which is the unipolar system, adding that the reaction is not to the United States government as that relationship is at the level of bilateral relations.

He also faulted the current foreign policy which he said “is not system driven” but “personality driven” because foreign policy makers or political leaders in Nigeria (and not the official document) dictate the pace and direction of the foreign policy.

“If your policy is system driven, it reacts naturally to whatever changes occur in the international system.”

Asked if the nation truly has a foreign policy, Mr Thomas said that “the perception to people is that we don’t have foreign policy but academically (that’s theoretically) we have but practically, we don’t have because it’s at the dictate of who is at the helm of affairs.”

On claims that the framework is afrocentric, placing Africa at the centre of its foreign policies, Mr Thomas said it made sense in the 60s, 70s and 80s but not anymore as former President Olusegun Obasanjo ‘diluted the afrocentric perspective.’

According to Thomas, Obasanjo made the policy two-pronged in nature. Politically, the afrocentric perspective stands but economically, “we are now looking at the global order.”

EGYPT: Analyst Describes Military Take Over As ‘Disciplined, Organised’

An International Relations Analyst, Dapo Thomas, has described the military intervention in Egypt’s democractic government as ‘a disciplined and organised’ step.

He added that the Egyptian government failed to keep to their promise and encroached on the people’s rights.

Speaking on Channels Television breakfast show Sunrise Daily, Mr. Thomas said the Egyptians protest was due to the dissatisfaction of the people and the inablity of the government to meet the needs of the people.

He explained that the Egyptians have not benfitted anything from the Mursi led adminsitration.

Speaking about the international community’s condemnation of the army’s intervention, he said there would certainly be diverse positions on the matter.

He mentioned that the country will not be in isolation despite different oppositions.