Xenophobia: Obasanjo Asks Nigeria, Others To Report South Africa To AU - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Xenophobia: Obasanjo Asks Nigeria, Others To Report South Africa To AU

Chief Obasanjo
Michael-Azeez Ogunsiji
ABEOKUTA - Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has reacted to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africa citizens living in South Africa.

In a letter to the President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the elder statesman urged countries whose citizens were affected to table appropriate motions at the African Union (AU) and consider other measures if the situation is allowed to continue.

He condemned the situation where any African country encourages or fails to seriously sanction xenophobia against Africans in their country.

Obasanjo described such as a great disservice not only to the country xenophobic attacks take place and the countries of the victims concerned but also to the whole of Africa and black race.

He said there was a need for fence-mending, reconciliation and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia in the country.

The former president, therefore, asked South African authorities to send emissaries to the countries concerned to explain, apologise and agree on the way forward for mutual understanding.

He also noted that repatriation of Nigerians from South Africa was not a permanent solution to the crisis, neither was revenge a desirable way out.

Obasanjo challenged Nigeria and South Africa to stand together to champion African cause and jointly shepherd African development, unity, cooperation, security, and progress to make the 21st century Africa’s century.

The former President declared that there was "need for fence-mending, reconciliation and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia and afrophobia in South Africa. As a suggestion, South Africa should send emissaries to the countries concerned to explain, apologise and agree on the way forward for mutual understanding, accommodation, reconciliation, and binding the wound to promote unity, concord, and brotherhood in Africa. 

"Repatriation of Nigerians from South Africa is obviously not a permanent solution. At best it is palliative. But the hurt will still remain for some time.  Neither is revenge a desirable solution. Mutual understanding and acknowledgement of what needs to be done on all sides is imperative and getting down to doing them is the solution that will serve Nigeria and South Africa and indeed Africa well particularly in this era of Africa Continental Free Trade Area opportunities. Nigeria and South Africa must stand together to champion African cause and to jointly shepherd African development, unity, cooperation, security, and progress to make the 21st century Africa’s century."

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