Nigerians living in Ghana have decried xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa, and urged African nations to put measures in place to end the menace.
4 Ogbonna was reacting to the renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in Pretoria and Johannesburg, South Africa.
6 Ogbonna, who expressed displeasure at the “appalling treatment” meted out on indigenes of African nations, particularly Nigerians, in South Africa, called for stringent efforts to end it.
7 “All that we ask for is respect for fellow Africans; we utterly condemn the actions in the spirit of brotherliness and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
8 “We demand that African nations rise up not just to condemn the act, but put measures in place to forestall future occurrences.
9 “They must rise up and sanction the South African government in order to prevent recurrence of xenophobia in South Africa or any other African nation.
10 “We need to stop seeing ourselves as enemies or threats; there are approximately 2.3 million immigrants in South Africa, but the hostility is constantly meted on the nearly 2 million African migrants.”
11 He said that failure to stop xenophobic attacks could hinder AfCFTA, and urged the government of South Africa to go beyond condemning the attacks and put in place measures to punish offenders.
12 According to him, refusal to punish offenders is a silent approval of this barbaric act.
13 He noted that refusal by the South African government to punish criminal offences would only encourage recurrent attacks.
14 “Majority of the shops and businesses attacked were built from the scratch through hard work of these African migrants or foreigners.
15 “What is most instructive is the uprising by other African nations and reports that some member states of SADC have shut their borders.
16 “The question here is if it was only Nigerians that were attacked, how many other Africans would have risen and spoken against this act?
17 “Many other irrelevant issues would have been introduced to discredit our great nation Nigeria, without investigation,” he added.
18 He said that if the attacks had been treated as “a fight against one is a fight against all” in the past, it would not have degenerated to the current situation.
19 He urged the South African government to prosecute its indigenes who had abused African migrants to serve as a deterrent.
Ogbonna sympathised with the Nigerian community in South Africa, urging them to be strong and remain law abiding. (NAN)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola/Ephraims Sheyin