What South Africans Are Saying About Nigerians

Regolare Commento Stampare

Last weekend shops owned by Nigerian and Somali nationals were broken into and ransacked.

Mubarak Muntaka has called on Ghanaians and Africans to boycott South African products and its companies due to the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in that country. "But the main motivation is always to drive all foreign national from that community".

In 2015, anti-immigrant riots in and around the South Africa city of Durban killed at least six people. The reality of these historical facts has continued to obstruct the wheel of progress and development.

Nigeria's presidential adviser on foreign affairs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has condemned the attacks, asking authorities in South Africa to take decisive and definitive measures to protect Nigerians and other African nationals in the country.

There have been recorded cases of attacks on non-South Africans in recent times. "And in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed", this is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said.

With poverty levels high in South African townships, local residents with small informal businesses see competition "only at the level of immediate competitors", such as immigrant shopkeepers, Mafinyori said, adding that big new supermarkets "are seen as bringing job opportunities and are welcomed".

However, the Minister of State or Foreign Affairs, Khadija Abba-Ibrahim, in a statement which came as a shock to many, said no Nigerian lost their lives in the attacks. African migrants are the most vulnerable, competing for limited resources in the same impoverished areas as most of South Africa's black majority.

The cordial relationship between the governments of both countries, does not extend to the citizens, Ukeje said, and called for inter-parliamentary engagement between the parliaments of both nations.

"The union has reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police".

Aduku also assured that all diplomatic means would be explored to stop the killings of Nigerian nationals in South Africa.

"Our democracy enshrines our hard-earned human rights".

According to her, the re-occurrence of xenophobic acts could make Nigerians living in South Africa, defend themselves and emanate to reprisal attacks. In addition, this is why Nigerians are angry at the latest attacks.

In retaliation, Nigerian protesters vandalised the head office of South African mobile phone giant MTN in Abuja. Therefore, Nigeria must also forge strategic business alliance in South Africa to balance the insalubrious business equation.

The two countries in my view are not exploiting their leadership and governance roles in sustaining the African dream and indeed the drive for poverty eradication through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).