Xenophobia: Tensions worsen between Nigeria, SA

Jeppes XenoFrom EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA and South Africa are on a diplomatic collision after the West African country’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora threatened unspecified action over comments credited to the South African Home Affairs Minister regarding the xenophobic attacks.
“The days that the Nigerian government will fold its arms while its citizens are maltreated to the point that some of them have lost their lives for no just cause are long gone,” warned Dabiri-Erewa.
The statement by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Special Adviser on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to President Muhammadu Buhari, came as she denounced Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba’s response to the attacks as “unfortunate”, “very suspicious” “unguarded” and “unacceptable.”
She said her attention had been drawn to Gigaba’s statement in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks, which had also brought reprisal attacks on MTN, a South African business conglomerate, that “such issues were better discussed at the diplomatic levels” when more than 100
Nigerians have reportedly  been killed in South Africa.
“It appears that Mr. Gigaba would rather dwell on and entertain himself with diplomatic niceties when the welfare of Nigerians resident in South Africa are at stake now more than any time in recent history.”
Dabiri-Erewa said Gigaba’s response to the xenophobic attacks, which has now become “a recurring decimal” on Africans, was unfortunate.
“While it’s no longer news that law-abiding Nigerians in that country have borne the major brunt of these attacks, the news by the Home Affairs Minister that his country is trying to get rid of criminals in his country at the time when indiscriminate mayhem and looting of law-abiding Nigerians is very suspicious, to say the least.”
“Even if this unguarded statement must be taken in its face value, we wonder if wanton destruction and indiscriminate killing of their African brothers is the most sensible excuse to give.
“The home affairs minister should have been more guarded and introspective in his statements so as not to further fan the embers of xenophobia that may get out control if care is not taken.”
Buhari’s aide said Nigeria and South Africa had a “long-standing” diplomatic relationship in which the former played a critical, if not a pivotal role that culminated in ending apartheid, among so many of her positive interventions.
Indiscriminate killings, she said, must not be how Nigeria should be paid back.
“Xenophobia is such a debilitating social disease, based mostly on ignorance, in which its carrier also suffers.
“I therefore suggest that the home affairs minister should engage in the mass education of the South African people about the debilitating effects of this disease with immediate effect.”
“In view of this unfortunate statement, I am therefore restating my earlier call on the African Union to take up the South Africa’s
xenophobic issue as a matter of urgency.”
Comment had not been obtained from the government of South Africa.

CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=18378

Posted by on Feb 27 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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