- Bola Kougbe
The Nigerian Government has said it would not take lightly to the xenophobic attacks on its citizens in South Africa. The government also took a swipe at South African Home Affairs minister, Malusi Gigaba over his comment that the matter should be resolved diplomatically. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, senior special assistant on Diaspora Matters, said the “indiscriminate killings, in which 116 deaths have been recorded of her people must not be how Nigeria should be paid back. “Xenophobia is such a debilitating social disease, based mostly on ignorance, in which its carrier also suffers. I therefore suggest that the home affairs minister should engage in the mass education of the South African people about the debilitating effects of this disease with immediate effect. “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. “His response to the xenophobic attacks, which has now become a recurring decimal on Africans, most especially Nigerians living peacefully in their host country of South Africa was, indeed, unfortunate.” “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. The home affairs minister should have been more guarded and introspective in his statements so as not to further fan the embers of xenophobia that may get out control if care is not taken.” Dabiri-Erewa restated her call on the African Union (AU) to take up the South Africa’s xenophobic issue as a matter of urgency. “The days that the Nigerian government will fold its arms while its citizens are maltreated to the point that some of them have lost their lives for no just cause are long gone”.