India No More A Safe Place For Nigerians / Africans

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Recently there have been dozen of reports on how Africans which also includes Nigerians residing in India have been attacked, some killed. It is no more news but what is Nigerian Government doing about this unjust killing and humiliation? What is the Federal Government of Nigeria doing to protect its citizens in India most especially in Delhi.

It is shocking, alarming and surprising to know that as a person of African race, you can’t run a business or own a shop in India without the fear of been attacked but in Nigeria, reverse is the case.

Nigeria which serves as a land of opportunities for other nationals have always been open to other countries, permitting them to run their businesses without extra charges from the government, disturbance or safety threat from Nigerian citizens, instead, Nigerian  will derive pleasure in working for such foreign establishment .

According to report, on the 29 of May this year, over a dozen African students were attacked in Rajpur village of Chhatarpur, South Delhi, India, a day after a Nigerian student was attacked in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hill area with an iron rod over car parking space. A few of them have been admitted in hospital with serious injuries on their heads. The incident came in the wake of a spate of racist attacks against Africans in the country.

In another incident, 23-year-old Congolese national was allegedly beaten to death by three men in south Delhi’s Vasant Kunj Friday night. The victim, identified as Masonda Ketanda Olivier, had come to India on a student visa in 2012 and had recently taken up a teaching job.

The attack triggered a massive diplomatic face-off between India and Africa, after African envoys lambasted and warned New Delhi, saying they would consider recommending to their Governments not to send any more students to India if nothing was done to stop attacks against African students.

There were reports on Wednesday of a retaliatory attack on an Indian shopkeeper in the Congo.

African envoys stated that several incidents of harassment of Africans in the country “have not been resolved” and that prosecution and conviction of the culprits had not happened. They said the problems of “racism and afro-phobia” existed in India.

Picture: Masonda Ketanda Olivier

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In another report, Kenneth Igbinosa, 29, Nigerian national His wife Kate, 24, Son Blessed, four-months-old, Living in Delhi for three years, Sings gospel music in church “I was returning in my car with my wife and child after attending a church meeting in Fatehpur Beri. It was really dark as there were no streetlights in the area. As soon I entered the lane in which my house is located, a group of people blocked the road and started banging their fists on my car. Some of them were carrying sticks and iron rods. One of them hit the windshield with a cricket bat, and it broke. My wife and I were injured… but we had to save our child. I immediately took an U-turn and sped out of the lane. Once I was out of the area, I called up police,” said Igbinosa.

Picture: Kenneth Igbinosa and wife Kate

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Vikky, 30, Ugandan national said “brother Pierre, 35, Living in Delhi for a year, runs a cargo business “Pierre was unwell and we were on our way back after visiting a doctor. When the auto-rickshaw stopped outside my house, a group of at least 10 people, most of them residents of the same locality, started shouting at us. They were saying ‘go back to your country…go back to your country’. When my brother asked them why they were shouting, two of them attacked him… they punched him and hit him on the head with an iron rod. My brother asked me to run… but I fell down. One of the attackers started kicking me on my stomach. Somehow, both of us managed to get inside my house and locked the door. We were so scared that we didn’t even call our friends. I lost my mobile phone in the attack,” said Vikky.

In another report, Leuchy, 29, Nigerian national Living in Delhi for two years, Pursuing BBA from Amity College said “I was standing outside my house with my friend when a group of men attacked us with sticks and stones. I tried to run but one of them grabbed me from behind. Two of them hit me with sticks and one of them hit me on the face with a stone.

How long will all these injustices and humiliations continue? Is the Federal Government of Nigeria and African at large going to fold hands and watch while Indians take turns in the killing of its citizens? What are the measures that have been place put in place to bring these perpetrators to book? If we don’t act now, you might be the next victim.

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