‘My Haters suffering from Xenophobic Mentality’-Charlie Boy
*Says 'The World must defeat Xenophobia to barest minimum' *Laments: 'It's Poverty that affects our minds, as many live on a constant diet of hopelessness' *Echoes: 'Poverty is when young men of a country refuse to look their government in the face to demand better opportunities for themselves and families' *Observes: 'If we pull down South Africa's businesses in the country, will Nigeria go scar-free?' BY CHARLES EMEKA OPUTA/ABUJA HE is Nigeria's punk king. So daring. Never afraid to call a spade, a spade. He was a former President of Performing Musicians Employers' Association of Nigeria, PMAN, being a creative entertainer, musician and showbiz impresario. Charles Emeka Oputa is popularly called 'Charlie Boy' all over Africa's most populous nation and beyond the shores of African continent. In this Opinion, sent to our Editorial crew, it was unanimously agreed that we run his article unedited below: IT is the new buzz word in town. Xenophobia! While it is a new word for a lot of people, for a few others, it is seldom used, for lack of opportunity. The Merriam-Webster English dictionary defines it as "fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign". It is a disease which I guess some of my haters suffer from (LOL), a dangerous epidemic which all Nations of the world must defeat and eradicate to the barest minimum, or else...! Sadly, the worse hit are mostly poor people. I will show you who a poor person is, in the real sense. I define Xenophobia as the new face of poverty, the fundamental level which I call Mental Poverty. This kinda poverty attacks our mind, as many of us live on a constant diet of hopelessness which ultimately darkens our mental skies and makes us believe that our future is bleak; therefore we start to develop self-destructive behavioral patterns. It is when people take out their frustrations on other members of society who are equally carrying the weight of the same frustrations but managing not to let it get a hold of them. This is so glaring as it is exhibited by the young and restless. I will state my case. Checkout these scenarios... When a group of people want to get the attention of government on issues they feel very passionate about, they begin to kill people in hundreds through serial bombings, killings or holding innocent school children hostage. They fail to face the decision makers in government to channel their frustrations and make demands for a better future, that’s what I call the new face of poverty/xenophobia . When the young men of a country refuse to look their government in the face and demand better opportunities for themselves, their children and generations unborn, rather they take it out on other persons who also have the same issues in their countries of origin and have only come to hustle for a better life, (no be say the better life dey fall from heaven oo), then that’s the new face of poverty. I don't care what anyone chooses to call it but that is exactly what I call it: POVERTY. All over social media, I hear my people shouting in agitation "let's pull down all South African companies in Nigeria and let them go back to their country". And I ask, if that happens, is Nigeria going to walk away scar-free? What would be the fate of thousands of Nigerians that these companies like MTN, Multichoice, Shoprite and all the rest of them help put food on their tables by providing viable jobs and reasonable pay? Do we honestly think things are going to remain the same for them? I bet you, every one of us has a family member or close friend that is provided employment and means of livelihood by these companies. Have you not thought about that? Ah ha, again, I see the ugliness of the matter, call it poverty or Xenophobia rearing its head or is it just in my head? What if as a nation, we start to demand that our government and the persons we have duly elected to carry out the task of leadership begin to do what they have been elected for? What if we make accountability the watchword for assessing governments? Do you think these issues will not be sorted out? MTN network has been adjudged by all to have one of the scrappiest networks ever but what are the checks and balances that protect subscribers? Multichoice has incessantly increased DSTV subscription: what legislation has been put in place to ensure that tariff reviews are done as at when due and not to extort the ordinary man on the street? Same for all other issues we all bicker about every now and then. Why does the ordinary man who has gotten used to using the DSTV to unwind after a hard day's job have to suffer for it? Besides when are we going to encourage indigenous competitions such that we have options at every point, because trust me, we consume the load of crap doled out to us by MultiChoice because we have not got any credible option. Again I say, the common front we all need to put up should be towards demanding accountability from the custodians of this thing we call our country and its systems, not shooting venom from the bug of the deadly disease of xenophobia. Quit the poverty mindset, quit xenophobic mentality. Refuse to have the wools pulled over your eyes. It doesn't matter anyone in authority who makes inciting statements, refuse to be incited, rather turn to him/her and demand accountability for the authority bestowed on them first, before raising an arm on the next fellow just as helpless as you are.