Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Nigeria’s All Progressives Congress (APC) party has said that South African leaders cannot be exonerated from the spike in xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other foreign nationals in their country.
In a statement signed by APC National Publicity Secretary Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, the ruling party noted that it is too early for South Africans to forget their country’s history.
Calling on South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) to step into the worrisome situation, the APC national leadership insisted that Nigerians in South Africa deserve better treatment from their host country.
The statement reads:
“The APC strongly condemns the recent South African xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, particularly on Nigerians, their property and businesses.
“As a party, we are deeply saddened by these unwarranted attacks. Nigeria deserves better from South Africa. It is too early for South Africans to forget their country’s history.
“Many of the key players in the struggle against apartheid are still alive and active in the country’s national affairs. We, therefore, cannot understand why there seems to be a conspiracy of silence on their part.
“The barbaric attack on citizens of other countries points to a failure of leadership. South African leaders cannot exonerate themselves from this cowardly act. We call on the South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), to urgently step in.
“This is completely at variance with what ANC stood for. The ANC government can no longer pretend about this obvious contradiction.
“The violence being meted to Nigerians under ANC calls to question the very essence of the struggle against apartheid in which Nigeria was a frontline ally of South Africa.
“How can those who supported you and made huge sacrifices for your freedom become fair games to be murdered in cold blood? Perhaps there is a disconnect between the younger and older generations of South Africa.
“The older generation cannot sit back while the uninformed youths and some South African public officials in their quest for inordinate populism destroy what we collectively achieved over several decades of sacrifice and brotherliness.
“Today, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians. This is one of the first steps in this government’s proactive response to this unfortunate incident.
“We assure Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would continue to take decisive measures. The safety of Nigerians – home and abroad – is non-negotiable to the APC administration,” the statement read.