Recent attacks on Nigerians, nationals of other African countries in South Africa and their businesses by South Africans are to say the least saddening and should be condemned by all right thinking persons.
The latest unleashing of violence on Nigerians, other African immigrants and their businesses by South Africans is not the first time and whenever the dust settles on each occasion, lives are lost, maimed and property destroyed.
What is most appalling is that these attacks keep increasing despite assurances by the South African government.
We join others to condemn strongly these xenophobic attacks. We are of the opinion that the attacks are not only against the spirit of the African brotherhood but portrays the citizens of the former apartheid enclave as ingrates who have little or no sense of history particularly as to the sacrifices on Nigeria and Nigerians as well as other African states in the liberation of South Africa from White minority rule.
We insist that there is no justification for South Africans to unleash violence on Nigerians and nationals of other African countries carrying out legitimate businesses and no reason for them to be envious of these African immigrants.
It is sad to hear some justify the attacks by citing rising unemployment among South Africans.
The attacks most be seen the way they are – criminality and the South African government should be told in no unclear terms that it has the responsibility to stop these attacks.
The South African government must priotorise the protection of Nigerians and other African immigrants just as it does for its citizens. Criminal gangs whether they are South Africans or other African immigrants should be sent to where they belong- behind bars, following the due process.
South Africa security forces should not be seen to look the other way when law abiding African immigrants, Nigerians inclusive, are mobbed, maimed, killed and their property burnt down or looted.
We are also of the opinion that the Nigerian government should take greater interest in the way its citizens abroad are treated.
A situation where law abiding Nigerians are visited with violence, killed, their properties burnt or looted with half-hearted response from the Federal Government does not inspire patriotism.
While we note the response of the Federal Government to latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and their businesses in South Africa, we believe that the Federal Government should do more to stand up for law abiding Nigerians at home and abroad.
Severing diplomatic relationship with countries ill-treating Nigerians or other punitive measures, in our opinion, should not be too much for a country that takes the welfare and safety of its citizens’ hpme and abroad as a priority.