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Xenophobic attacks barbaric, condemnable- Ikubese, Aluko

Xenophobic attacks barbaric, condemnable- Ikubese, Aluko

By  Adekola Afolabi
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Gales of reactions have continued to trail xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African migrants by South Africans.

In separate reactions yesterday in Akure, the Ondo state capital, a public affairs commentator and former presidential aspirant, Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese and the former Commissioner for Information in Ondo state, Chief Femi Aluko described the incessant attacks on Nigerians by South Africans as unfortunate, barbaric and condemnable.

The duo reminded the government of South Africa of how Nigeria and many other African nations stood by them during the apartheid policy in South Africa, saying there was no basis for them to attack fellow Africans living in their country.

Ikubese, a Convener of “YesWeFit” revolutionary movement and chieftain of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), expressed shock over the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, noting that South Africans have lost memory of history by attacking and killing fellow Africans especialy Nigerians and destroying their property.

“Nigerians and other Africans living in South Africa are contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of South Africa. Also, majority of the people working in those firms owned by Nigerians and other Africans are South Africans. They pay their taxes to South African government and this is contributing greatly to the South African economy. So, it is an act of ignorance that they are attacking other Africans”,Ikubese stressed.

He, however, cautioned Nigerians against reprisal attacks on South African firms in Nigeria, saying two wrongs can never make a right and that Nigerians stand to lose more by so doing.

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According to Ikubese, the permanent solution to the ugly situation is for Nigerian government to provide  conducive and safe environment with necessary infrastructural and social development including electricity to ensure good and stable economy for the country and prevent people from traveling abroad in search of greener pastures.

He called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately sanction South Africa Government over the xenophobic attacks and also push for adequate compensation for those who lost their property in the unfortunate incident.

On his part Chief Aluko and chieftain of Afenifere said it was very painful that the ”South African boys” did what they did to Nigerians despite all what Nigerian government did to secure their independence.

He called on Nigerian and South African governments to sit down and iron out the differences, adding that Nigeria needs to educate them as to where they are coming.

“I remember vividly that Mandela, that great nationalist, was not far from Nigeria in terms of dialoguing and others. But unfortunately since the departure of Mandela the South Africa has not got it right. All the successive leaders are not Mandela’s type. They are not as nationalistic as Mandela”, he stated.

He explained that any reprisal attacks on South African investments including Shoprite, MTN and others would be a direct attack on Nigerians themselves because Nigerians form about 80 percentage of those working in those firms.

Chief Aluko, however, commended president Muhammadu Buhari for summoning South African Ambassador to Nigeria for crucial meeting, just as he appealed to Nigerians to calm down and avoid any action that could further escalate the issue, saying he believes in peaceful resolution.

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The duo also supported the immediate recall of Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa, just as they called for urgent meeting of all African leaders with a view to addressing the issue in the interest of all.

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