Xenophobia: Attack on Nigerians, immigrants cannot be resolved by diplomatic measures – FG

by Azeez Adeniyi

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign  Affairs and Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said diplomatic measures cannot solve the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in South Africa.

In a statement on Sunday in Abuja, Dabiri-Erewa said the government will not fold its hands and watch as Nigerians are being killed in the former apartheid enclave.

The Presidential aide was reacting to a statement by South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, that there was no need for the African Union intervention in the xenophobic attacks.

She described the statement as unacceptable, reiterating the role the African Union needs to play in stopping the attacks.

She said, “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.

“Mr. Gigaba’s response to the mayhem that a segment of the South African people perpetrated on law-abiding Nigerians in South Africa smirks of insensitivity, and it’s therefore very reprehensible, if not unacceptable.

“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.”

She added that the statement by Gigaba that his country was trying to get rid of criminals in his country at this time was very suspicious.

“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,” she said.

She recalled the pivotal role played by Nigeria in ending apartheid system in South Africa.

Dabiri-Erewa called on the South African government to educate its citizens on the contributions of Nigeria to the former apartheid enclave.

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