By: Douglas Waserite Dodiyi-Manuel.
They are alleging that the consular officers were demanding bribe and that the request made in respect of the visa application (which had to do with the verification of the registration of the church they were going) was also construed as a ploy to demand bribe.
Look, I am a critic of the Nigeria government on all fronts and at all level because corruption has eaten deep into the ordinary psyche of the average Nigeria.
Nonetheless, the South Africans are absolutely wrong here:
1) People travelling to Nigeria in groups generally and usually don’t have visa problems – every week, you see multitudes leaving for Nigeria to attend TB Joshua’s church and none has ever complained about visa or bribe.
2) I live in South Africa and I have also invited people on official basis, and in all those cases, the registration certificate of our company was always requested – sometimes even things as petty as the passport copies of the directors, and we always complied – and our utmost compliance was never a guarantee for visa. What makes these South Africans think that they can circumvent the Nigeria process and visa requirements.
3) Saying that you are a Nigerian in this country is like an admission of guilt.
They see Nigeria as a den of criminals. The killers of the music icon, Lucky Dube said that they thought he was a Nigerian that was why they shot him. This year alone, hyper-conservatory speaking, more than 20 Nigerians have been extra-judicially murdered by the South African Police – how many South Africans have been unlawfully arrested in Nigeria? Some of the Nigerians were murdered in their shop/office, and in some cases, the police arrested them, covered their head with a hood and sprayed in tear-gas and they died. What is the Nigerian government doing?
There was a time the South African Police arrested, beat-up and detain a Nigerian Diplomat, Mr. Iruala.
4) The last time I went to South African High Commission in Lagos, it was like a crusade there. Meanwhile here in South Africa, the police even tear up Nigeria passport, declare the passport holders to be an illegal immigrant, detain him and process him for deportation. This is the same South Africa that embarrassed Prof. Wole Soyinka at the airport, refuse Former President Obasanjo entry until he was injected with Yellow Fever injection at the airport – how more insult should Nigeria take from South Africa. Go to the Transcorp Hilton and see South African beautiful prostitutes all over the piano bar – have we deported them?
5) What do the police have to do with Diplomatic affairs? Which police officer gave the order for such a warlike aggression d where fully armed riot policemen in three police vans, ready for battle? Meanwhile, this was happening after 5pm -afterhours. Can they try this if it were a western embassy?
The Nigerian government must rise up to this occasion.