The Chairman of the Igbo Social-Cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo, in Anambra state, Chief Demian Ogene Okeke, has condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, describing it as a diplomatic hatred, because of the economy position of Nigeria globally, as the giant of Africa, which has remain unchanged in their favour.
Chief Okeke, who reacted aggressively on the issue before newsmen in Awka, the Anambra state capital, on Wednesday, questioned the essence of the renewed attacks on Nigerians, which has resulted to gruesome killings, looting, burning of property majorly owned by Nigerians and attack of Nigerian Embassy in their country, despite the fortunes Nigerians spent to ensure they got their independence from their Colonial Masters.
According to him, how can any right-thinking person created by God, attack and burn a fellow human being just because of a slogan “giant of Africa”
He called on the special envoy dispatched by President Mohammadu Buhari to the South African government to deal decisively with those mindless criminals who attacked and prevented Nigerians from freely conducting their businesses.
“It’s so sad, I wish late Nelson Madela could resurrect to see his people attacking a country who helped fight for the freedom of today’s South Africa,
“On the retaliatory attacks on South Africa Companies in Nigeria; the MTN, DSTV, Shoprite among others in Lagos and Uyo, the Elder statesman, said there would be no reason to attack because over 80 per cent of Nigerians from Top staff to cleaners are employees of this outfits.
“Attacking these enterprises at this harsh economic situation the country is currently going through now, how would these employees survived with their families, he asked.
“To me, since the South African government has failed to do more to protect the lives of Nigerians, then those living there should take up any availability to defend themselves and that of their families.
Meanwhile, the South-East APC Young Progressive Forum has also condemned the attacks on Africans and most especially Nigerians in the Republic of South Africa.
The National Leader of the Group Comrade Otimkpu Paschal Chizoba, in a statement in Awka on Wednesday, said it is very sad and very unfortunate that the lives and livelihoods of Africans and Nigerians living in South Africa are being destroyed with such wantonness and with such carelessness and recklessness.
This is the height of it all. These South African Nationals are ungrateful people. This is the highest betrayal in the world because if these South Africans know the key role many African countries and Nigeria played to liberate the country from apartheid. These generations of South Africans will not carry this act on their fellow Africans.
We are very concerned like many other African Countries and Nigerians and certainly we want the Nigeria Government to take this up with the authorities in South Africa in order to ensure that this sort of thing does not repeat itself. This is absolutely unacceptable and unconscionable. There is no excuse whatsoever for these baseless killings by South African people.
We are demanding and calling for the arrest and prosecution of the South African government officials and Police Chiefs who have openly supported and justified the attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners living in the country. These people should be arrested and prosecuted for a crime against Humanity.
He said the seeming cold approach and attitude of the South African government and authorities to the vexed issue cast it as being complicit in the matter. They are the people instigating their people against Nigerians and Africans.
“We urge President Muhammadu Buhari and Federal Government to stop playing good neighbour Diplomacy and ensure the protection of our Nigerian people living in that country henceforth. The Presidency must stamp their feet on the ground and call that government to order. And this time,there must be serious consequences. South African Government must be compelled to pay compensation to Africans and Nigerians whose properties were destroyed and those involved in the murder should be arrested and jailed.
“We also urge the South African Government Authorities as well, to live up to their responsibilities because there is a serious disconnect between the younger and older generations of South Africa. The older generation cannot sit back while the uninformed and frustrated youths of their country and some South African Public Officials in their quest for inordinate populism destroy what we collectively achieved over several decades of sacrifice and brotherliness, the statement concluded.