As Nigerians in South Africa are experiencing xenophobic attacks, political teachers have blamed the federal government for creating conditions that drive its citizens out of the country to hostile environment.
The political scholars under the auspices of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA) in a statement issued by its President, Professor Aloysius-Michaels Okolie Wednesday, said Nigeria as a country was confused in dealing with the challenges posed by the attacks on its citizens.
They said the government is ill-equipped and ill-prepared to protect her citizens within and outside the country.
“Indeed, Nigeria has greater blame in creating conditions that necessarily drive her citizens out of the shores of the society into unfriendly and hostile environments.
“This explains why Nigeria appears to be more confused and at a loss on the appropriate measures to take to deal with the challenging xenophobic attacks on her citizens.
“As a corollary of the above, Nigeria’s political leadership appear to be driven more by emotions and sentiments emanating from the domestic environment. Foreign relations are critical survivalist enterprise that must be conducted in an objective setting.
“The pursuit and projection of ‘dash-dash’ foreign policy has proved ineffectual and counter-productive in galvanising and advancing the national interest of Nigeria in Africa.
“The good neighbourliness and Afro-centric stance of Nigeria’s foreign policy has become anachronistic and hence begs for revision.
“The goal and substance of Nigeria’s external relations should begin and end in advancing welfare needs of the citizens in the first instance. This should be elevated to core foreign policy value,” they said.
On the way forward, they said: “Relevant institutions must engage the South African government to curb the spate of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans residing in South Africa.
“Nigeria’s external relations must pursue the singular goal of advancing the welfare and well-being of Nigerians so that the incidence of global trotting in search of the needs of the stomach can be minimised”.