HUMAN rights lawyer and former
President, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA,
Dr. Olisa Agbakoba and the President of
the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Dr.
Frederick Fasehun, have asked President
Goodluck Jonathan to take drastic actions
against South Africa over the xenophobic
attacks on Nigerians and other black
migrants.
Agbakoba demanded the immediate
recall of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to
South Africa, Mr. Martin Cobham, over the
incident.
In a statement he issued yesterday in
Lagos, Agbakoba said the Nigerian High
Commissioner to South Africa should be
recalled while the Foreign Minister should
summon the South African Commissioner to
Nigeria to convey the Federal Government’s
disappointment at the behaviour of some
South Africans.
He said: “There can be no excuse for
this outrageous behaviour, especially in
the context of good neighbourly relations
between South Africa and Nigeria. Nigeria stood by their South African brothers and
sisters at their greatest hour of need during the
apartheid years. This is no way to repay us.
“It is shocking that President Zuma of South
Africa has not made a clear statement. I feel
the response of the Nigerian Government has
been very weak.
“The South African Government must know
that xenophobic behaviour of its people is
not acceptable to Nigerians and it will have
the gravest consequences for Nigerian-South
African relations, unless they stop their
inexcusable behaviour.”
Meanwhile, South African Defence Minister,
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, yesterday said
that soldiers will be deployed in some areas of
Johannesburg to quell anti-immigrant violence
that has killed at least seven people in several
weeks of unrest.
Fasheun, who also condemned the bad habit
of South Africans, lamented that Nigerians
have been made victims in this unprovoked
attack which started after Zulu King Goodwill
Zwelithi on March 23, demanded that the
government sack foreigners, whom he accused
of usurping employment and business
opportunities that should have been reserved
for South Africans.
He said that this unguarded statement
triggered natives to go on the killing spree
of victims cutting across Africans as well as
Asians and Europeans.
According to him, “It mattered little to
the assailants that these foreigners and
expatriates have contributed immensely to
the development of South Africa and the
sustenance of her economy.
“These attacks are a mark of ingratitude
against Nigeria, which is estimated to have
spent over $60 billion on the South Africans’
struggle to break the chains of Apartheid and
secure independence.
“While the Nigerian government and the
rest of the world seek a diplomatic solution
to this season of madness, the OPC hereby
warns that South Africa must end this rash of
xenophobia within 48 hours. These ill-advised
attacks are capable of bringing out the beast
in the best of men. And we will not watch as
fellow Nigerians are wantonly killed in cold
blood.
“Enough is enough. Our South Africans
must know that nobody has a monopoly
of violence. They must halt the killings, the
maiming and the looting of foreigners in their
country,” he warned.


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