The National Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Alhaji Shehu Gabam has chided the Federal Government for her lacklustre response to the incessant killings of innocent Nigerians in South Africa.
Gabam frowned at the government near insensitivity to the gruesome murder of Nigerians living in South Africa; a situation which has been going on for some years. He said “Whereas South Africans have enjoyed the warmth hospitality and cooperation of the Nigerian people not only in terms of living in Nigeria peacefully, but also in the way the Nigerian people and government have patronised and safeguarded South African business interest in Nigeria. The reverse is the case in South Africa, where Nigerian people and businesses have been at the receiving end of xenophobic attacks”.
This was contained in a statement issued in Abuja today by the SDP Director of Media and Publicity, Hon. Yemi Akinbode.
The statement reads ” The leadership of our party, the SDP has reviewed the recent and incessant killings of innocent Nigerians in South Africa under xenophobia pretense, a situation which has the potential to force aggrieved Nigeriam families who are affected to seek corresponding revenge against South Aftican nationals living in Nigeria.
According to the statement, the palpable tension generated by the renewed killings of innocent Nigerians in South Africa has excerbated a dangerous dimension which must be quickly mitigated by authorities of both countries for normalcy to be restored.
Gabam asked rhetorically, “How can Nigerians in South African experience this kind of jeopardy and our government are unable to rise swiftly to the occasion. It is ironic that Nigerians can become the subject of xenophobic attack in a country where she has invested so much in terms of its liberation from oppressive white rule and long years of apartheid. Nigeria gave so much to the liberation struggle in South Africa, we were in the fore front of the war and campaign to end apartheid regime. So the only thing we can get in return is the incessant killings of our people? The government must take decisive steps to nip this in the bud in order to prevent a backlash which may threaten the existing friendship and diplomatic relations between the two countries. The federal government must act decisively to protect the lives and properties or Nigerians in South Africa.
The statement continued” These senseless killings are no longer acceptable to Nigerians, so President Buhari must call his South African counterpart to put urgent measures in place to address this ugly trend in the interest of all”.
The Nigerian people have raised serious concern about the escalating attack and killing of innocent Nigerians in recent time. The trend has degenerated to the extent that the Student Union body in Nigeria have had to issue an ultimatum to South Africans in Lagos and Ogun States to leave Nigeria, threatening it will begin a repreasal and retaliatory attacks on them if Nigerians are provocated by further killings in South Africa.
The statement urged the Special Envoy to South Africa on Nigerian killings to ensure that the South African authorities are made to sign a pact and agreement to prevent further killings of Nigerians in that country, failure of which the Nigerian government may take appropriate steps to end the dastardly act.
Hon. Yemi Akinbode
Director, Media and Publicity
Social Demicratic Party(SDP)