A Lagos lawmaker, Mr Ajani Owolabi, has called for new dialogues among African countries to end the continents’ socioeconomic infestations, as xenophobic attacks on African nationals in South Africa persists.
Owolabi, representing Lagos Mainland Constituency I in the Lagos State House of Assembly, made the call on Wednesday while addressing newsmen on the latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
“I think this is an opportunity for stronger nations in Africa to begin to start forming a new dialogue about how to end this socioeconomic infestation that has plagued Africa.
“We always believe that if a white man comes with the same experience as a black man, we should always trust the white man first, that is a mental chain.
“African nations should come together to address the social issues that we have,” the lawmaker said.
According to him, the only panacea to xenophobic attacks is for the South African Government to address the scars of apartheid evident in the socioeconomic lives of 85 per cent of her citizens.
Owolabi said the incessant attacks on Nigerians was a transfer of aggression by South Africans against foreigners in charge of their nation’s economy.
According to him, 85 per cent of people who are predominantly blacks are worse off economically, but 15 per cent who are foreigners controls the nation’s wealth.
“The country is in a dire strait and they still have extant social issues in terms of the scars that apartheid has left on them.
“I believe a lot of the aggression they are displaying now is a reflection and expression of everything they felt during the apartheid regime,” he said.
Owolabi said that the South Africans’ attack on foreigners, especially the blacks was because they were unable to face the white that controls their economy.
He advised Federal Government to use diplomatic ways to handle the crisis, saying safety of Nigerians should be paramount to the South African Government considering Nigeria’s contributions toward their freedom from apartheid regime.
The wave of xenophobic attacks gathered momentum on Sunday, when a protest march against drug-dealing by local residents in the centre of Johannesburg blamed on immigrants degenerated with shops attacked and looted.
The violence spread to the nearby city of Pretoria, where mobs attacked immigrant traders, workers and shopkeepers on Monday.
South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, had condemned the violence on Tuesday, saying he was calling in ministers with responsibility for security.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also condemned the latest attack and sent a special envoy to the country.
– Sept. 4, 2019 @ 16:59 GMT |