Again, there has been Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South-African.
In their claim to be fighting against crime, the South-African government has deported over 97 Nigerians, who they accused of committing different crimes in the country.
Responding to this on a television programme,The Osasu Show, the Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa admitted there were foreigners who commit crime in South Africa, and they should be dealt with, but not by discriminating against Nigerians or any other race or country.
According to her, South African politicians incite xenophobic attacks by telling citizens that foreigners, including Nigerians, are taking their women and jobs.
“There are people who commit crime in South Africa, and they are all over any country. If South Africa is fighting crime; fight crime, not fight your brothers and sisters, who are legitimately working in South Africa.
Don’t forget that these attacks happened in the past. This is the seventh attack. The last one was in 2015… the king of Zulu made some remarks that were inciting, that led to the last attack.
This particular one, let’s look at the circumstances. Fine, there are economic issues everywhere in the world, also in South-Africa. It’s like politicians are campaigning and telling their people, ‘you know what, drive these criminals away, they are taking your jobs, and they are taking your women too’.
They don’t say that openly, but there is this thing about it; even the women are not looking at us.
It is a wrong message and there has to be education, awareness, that it is not these immigrants that are taking your jobs. Look at the jobs they are doing; vulcanisers, mechanics, barbers, these are middle income jobs and they are doing them very well. ‘In fact, there’s this Nigerian barber, when he cuts your hair, you don’t want nobody to touch your hair,’ so that is the situation.”
Erewa advised South Africa companies operating in Nigeria to educate South Africans on the need to stop xenophobia.
“Imagine MTN sending text messages to everyone in South Africa, saying Xenophobia is bad, don’t do this and that. They should embark on some corporate social responsibility. Those multinationals should get up and do something. DStv should be doing various jingles on why xenophobia is bad, they should take over the awareness campaign.