On my visit to Nigeria last year, I noticed the changing landscape of the Murtala Muhammed airport and Nigerian society at large. I was confronted by hundreds of casually dressed Asians, locally called Indians, sweating under the sweltering sun, mouth babbling away into their mobile phones. The scenario is like a typical East and Southern African airports.
In Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe such gathering of Asians is normal. But in Nigeria, this is a nightmare scenario. It is an ominous sign which portends doom for every Nigerian. Why? I have always regarded Nigeria as a fortress and quite understandably, impenetrable by the Indian ‘miracle’. We are clever, arrogant, educated, intelligent and hardworking.
We will never, like most East African countries and even Britain, allow our country to be run by Asians. That prospect makes hell look too real. The Vaswani case shattered all that and also exposed my naivety and ignorance. We have to accept that the history of Indian settlement across many countries of the world has never been a good one. The explosions of globalisation and their relative advantage in population have made them the most nomadic race on earth.
Among other minority races, the Asians are the most populous people in the western diaspora. And unlike the other races, they loathe the black race with intense passion. They are the most fixated of all known immigrants in the western world. Once they escaped the poverty and death of Calcutta, Mumbai and Delhi they never return home.
Consider these examples: Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji Island, Mauritius, Seychelles, Guyana, South Africa and United Kingdom. In all these countries, the Indians have ingratiated themselves through bakshish, an Indian word for bribery and corruption in order to warm their ways into corridor of power and through guile, false decorum and patience win power and eventually dominate the indigenous population.
Indeed, Asians do not distinguish between politics and business. They go into business to do politics. And politics is always the ultimate aim of their sojourn abroad. It is a tried and tested orthodoxy in the countries listed above. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, an Asian commentator on race issue in the UK, confessed in her book, ‘No Place Like Home’ that it was the Asian open racism against Ugandan Africans which led to their ignominious expulsion by Idi Amin from Uganda.
Further, she said that their arrogance and open display of wealth caused deep resentment among the indigenous black population.
She also revealed that many Ugandan Asians were brought up to believe that black people were savages. Infact, her father refused to speak to her until his death because she played Juliet against a black Romeo in a school play in Uganda!
In Britain, there is a terrible racial prejudice against blacks among Asians. Many older Asians brought an anti-black attitude with them when they were expelled from Africa. The Asian antipathy to black people may be a residue of the evil Hindu caste system which still classifies dark skinned people as ‘untouchables’.
For Nigerians, the greatest danger to our nascent democracy may not come through the usual white man’s mischief but Asian mischief. Already, the Hinduja and Vaswani brothers who were once probed for financial crimes in India and Europe, have wide ranging business interests in Nigeria. They are buying into our petro-chemical, PHCN, NITEL, banks, stocks, steel and other blue chip industries with questionable money. The Asian battle to woo and own Nigeria becomes a reality farce with the Vaswanis controlling 30 per cent of our commodity market.
With a deadly combination of money and gift the Vaswani brothers have bought our former military thieves, businessmen and politicians from top to bottom and in return the nerve center of our economic life was delivered to these buccaneering foreigners! Then from The Compass newspaper of 21 November 2008 comes this:
“NIGERIA may soon benefit from a $12billion (N1.404trillion) investments from India. Already, some businessmen from the Asian country are presently negotiating with Federal authorities on the possibility of citing many projects in the country. The Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Anil Trigunyat, who broke the news in Abuja yesterday during a press briefing on the India-Africa Business Partnership Summit scheduled to take place between January 19 and 20 in Asok Hotel, New Delhi listed areas of interest by his country to include refineries, power plants, solid minerals, fertilizer plants among others. According to him, about 20 different draft agreements on some of the projects were in various stages of negotiation between relevant agencies and the Indian companies. He said that already, two power plants are being planned for the Niger Delta area because of the availability of gas to produce a combined 1,200mw of electricity, refineries with a production capacity of 180, 000 barrels per day at $5billion; and another $5billion fertilizer production company.
In addition, Mr. Trigunyat disclosed that another Indian firm has just arrived in Nigeria to negotiate for the resuscitation and management of abandoned steel projects. He stated that the January summit being packaged in Nigeria by African Theatrical Project would enable members of the Nigerian business community to meet their Indian counterparts and discuss more areas of possible collaboration. Already, India has made a $100million bilateral line of credit available to Nigeria, which will afford businesses opportunity to import from the Asian country in addition to the $200 million issued to ECOWAS businesses. The Deputy High Commissioner also said that some of his country’s banks are preparing to open their branches in Nigeria, while Nigerian banks also exploring the possibility of extending to his country. Currently, Indian companies are the second largest employer of labour in Nigeria outside the Federal Government, he said, adding that the summit, which was instituted in 1927 by the late Sir Mahatma Ghandi would further enhance trade and cultural relations between the two countries”.
The weepy part of the Indian story is this. After 48 years of independence from colonialism, Nigeria is today owned and controlled by few Indian businessmen whose reach, influence and power could grind our economy to a halt. A spineless, tottering black African superpower brought on its knees by idol-worshipping Indians. How many Nigerian goods and factory products find their way to India? Aside from our oil, the answer is zilch, zero, odo, nating!!! Take this.
In 30 years time, our grandchildren will be slaving away for Indians. And they are lawless, notorious slave drivers! One cannot pretend not to feel particularly alarmed when millions of Nigerians rely on Vaswani operation for daily survival. For instance, if you eat salt, spaghetti, fish, ride or see any of the following brands of cars: Volkswagen, Hyundai, Honda, etc you have been Vaswanised. This grim scenario reminded me of Idi Amin’s Uganda of 1970s. Although, initially they were indentured labourers through British settlement, Idi Amin’s vision to encourage economic liberalization for foreign investors led the Asians to his door in droves.
In Nigeria, like Uganda of old, the Asians are now on the rampage, pillaging, accumulating and controlling our rulers with money and sometimes women prostitutes of Indian origin. The profound lesson of I learned through the massive strangulation of Uganda’s economy forced me to send an open letter to President Yoweri Museveni in 1997 rubbishing his humiliating apology and entreaties to UK based Asians to return ‘home’ and help rebuild Uganda.
I reminded Museveni that the idea that Ugandan economy could only lift off through the injection of Asians’ presence, money and expertise was a monumental insult to the highly qualified Ugandans in the Diaspora. Museveni, like other buffoons scattered across black Africa, may have found my letter amusing and irrelevant. Let me plead on behalf of Nigerians in the Diaspora that our economic destiny should be saved and spared from the dangers of monopoly in foreign hands.
We need to shield Nigeria from being seized by Asians as happened in many other developing countries. More than ever, we need to defend our democracy from Asian economic assault through strict monitoring of their interest in our domestic economy, tight immigration regime, taxation accountability, denial of participation in local politics, denial of citizenship, lengthy jail terms for economic crime and corruption. Also, there should be a fast track deportation for any behaviour that seeks to subvert our collective economic destiny. Only last December, the notorious trio of Sunil, Haresh and Mahesh Vaswani were declared wanted by the EFCC for defrauding Nigeria of over N4bn. They fled immediately. Femi Babafemi, EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity tepid response was to say that “this time around we are ready for them”. Immediate subtext of his statement is that they had been defrauding and taking us all for a ride on countless occasions.
In East Africa, West Indies and the UK, the Asians have abused the spirit of laissez-faire and integration so much that they are now the monstrous Frankenstein that brings disaster to its creators.