The Nigerian Government as well as the international community have taken strategic steps to deal with the dastardly menace of wide spread xenophobia in South Africa.
In view of the deadly xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa, the Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Arewa has called on the South African government to take decisive measures to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans in the country.
In a statement issued in Abuja, Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an unnecessary setback. Urging restraint on the part of Nigerians, she warned that further attacks without any reprimand may incur dire consequences.
The Nigerian Senate, yesterday, called for harder stance against South Africa on the issue, just as the Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Matters, Rita Orji, condemned alleged lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government towards the protection of Nigerians outside the country, saying the government was more interested in remittances than the welfare of citizens abroad.
Similarly, Anyene said the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police. “As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church, have been looted and burned by South Africans. ‘’One of the buildings is a mechanic workshop with 28 cars under repairs, with other vital documents burnt during the attack.
Also, the pastor of the church was wounded and is in the hospital receiving treatment,” Anyene said. Disturbed by the renewed attacks, Dabiri-Erewa advised Nigerians to be extra cautious because it looked like South African government seemed to have no control over the attacks.
The SSA, however, urged restraint on the part of Nigerians and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences. Dabiri-Erewa said the AU was being called to intervene because information had it that there will be more xenophobic attacks against foreigners on February 22 and 23.
“These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback,” she said. Two weeks ago, Dabiri-Erewa met with South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the killing of Nigerians in South Africa, who assured that the South African government was investigating the matter. “We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years. And in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed. This is unacceptable to the people and government of Nigeria,” Dabiri-Erewa said.