Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama has urged his South African counterpart to avoid inflammatory comments following renewed xenophobic attacks.
Onyeama said this in a reaction to a comment by the South African Minister of Foreign Affairs, Naledi Pandor, that many Nigerians in her country were into drug peddling and human trafficking.
According to Pandor, Nigerians who do such should stay back in their country as these vices hurt South Africa.
But Onyeama was not pleased with her comment, describing it as ”outrageous” and could fuel xenophobia and embolden criminals.
In a tweet on his handle, Onyema said, “It is precisely this kind of outrageous stigmatization of a people from senior government officials that fuel xenophobia and embolden criminals.”
It is precisely this kind of outrageous stigmatization of a people from senior government officials that fuel xenophobia and embolden criminals. #ENOUGHISENOUGH @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG@NGRPresident @_AfricanUnion @ecowas_cedeao https://t.co/Ok6WF0Idgp
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) September 6, 2019
ActionAid Nigeria on Saturday called on African governments and the African Union to speak with one voice and take the necessary steps towards finding a lasting solution to xenophobia on the continent.
Concise News understands that the organization made the call in a statement by its communications coordinator, Nihinlola Ayanda, in Abuja on Saturday.
The statement quoted its country director Ene Obi as saying that the attacks, which had caused rage, loss of lives, and loss of livelihoods on the African Continent were uncalled for.
She blamed the menace on unemployment, poverty, widening the gap of inequality, little investment in human capital development and lack of investment in the youths across the continent.
“As an anti-poverty organization, we are concerned about the situation and how it undermines Africa’s socio-economic and political integration which is needed to fight poverty on the continent.
“For instance, the Africa Free Trade Agreement that envisages an African market without borders, provides for exchange of technology, sustainable development models among others, may not yield the desired result.
“Again, these reprisals, if not curtailed quickly, will undermine efforts at building an integrated economic power that is able to compete and negotiate with regional blocs such as the European Union.”