Xenophobia: TUC asks FG to recall envoy from S’Africa
The Trade Union Congress has called on the Federal Government to immediately recall the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa over the killing of Nigerians and other Africans by some South Africans.
The President of the TUC, Mr. Bala Kaigama, who made the call in a statement on Monday, also urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to evacuate Nigerians from the former apartheid enclave.
Kaigama said the call was necessitated by the need to stop the situation in South Africa from snowballing into a major crisis.
The TUC’s President noted that there seemed to be connivance between the government and security agencies in South Africa to perpetrate the killing of innocent Nigerians and Africans in order to take over their properties.
Kaigama stated that the killing of Nigerians must be stopped forthwith as the country would not accept the murder and maiming of its citizens as a sacrifice for a cordial relationship with South Africa.
He noted that Nigerians had not killed South Africans in spite of the fact that they had multi-billion naira investments in the country.
The TUC leader said South Africa had over 100 companies such as MTN, Shoprite and DSTV in the country, which had all been involved in anti-labour practices but had yet to be shut down.
Kaigama added, “From all indications, it appears there is a grand conspiracy by the government cum state security apparatus to continue to mindlessly waste lives and take over properties of innocent and harmless fellow Africans.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to put modalities in place to evacuate Nigerians in South Africa and recall the High Commissioner immediately to save the situation as further killing may lead to a major crisis.
“They own several multi-billion dollar investments on our soils; yet, we co-exist despite all odds. This killing and duhumanisation of Nigerians must stop. Not anymore; this must stop!
“If killing and maiming of Nigerians is the sacrifice required for us to maintain a cordial relationship, we are not willing to take it anymore.”
He described the anger of the South Africans against fellow Africans as misplaced and one borne out of inferiority complex from years of oppression during the apartheid regime.
He urged the African Union and the United Nations to caution South Africans “and to let them know that no individuals or country has a monopoly of violence.”
He stated, “How do we refer to this anti-Nigeria, nay Africa attitude? One wonders what these South Africans are turning into. Is it a case of ingratitude or lack of historical documentation by their leaders, of the unmatched leadership role Nigeria played in the 80s towards the dismantling of apartheid?
“It is on record that thousands of South African children were brought to Nigeria and distributed across all the unity schools in Nigeria and were fed and housed free courtesy of Nigerian government and Nigerians.
“They were welcomed with open arms! How have their youths missed this history that Nigerians have become objects for destruction in modern day South Africa?”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian community in South Africa said on Monday that another shop belonging to a member was looted in the latest xenophobic attack at Jeppestown, Johannesburg.
The President, Nigeria Union, South Africa, Mr. Ikechukwu Anyene, told the News Agency of Nigeria on the telephone from Pretoria that the shop was looted on Sunday night.
“We have received information that there was an overnight attack on shops belonging to foreigners at Jeppestown, a business district in Johannesburg.
“A shop belonging to a Nigerian was affected. The goods in the shop were looted by the attackers. The Nigerian was not hurt during the attack,” he said.
Anyene stated that attempts made to loot another shop belonging to a Nigerian failed as the owner called the police.
He said the value of items lost in the affected shop had not been ascertained while the incident had been reported to the Nigerian Mission and the South African police.
Meanwhile, a Ghanaian lawmaker, Okudzeto Ablakwa has called on the African Union to take action against South Africa.