Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on African nations whose citizens were attacked in the recent xenophobia in South Africa to submit the issue to the African Union (AU).
Obasanjo in a letter on Monday addressed to the Founder of the Inkatha Freedom Party in South Africa Mangosuthu Buthelezi urged Nigeria and other African nations to use other measures if the first one did not work out well.
According to the former Nigerian leader, the recent wave of xenophobic attack is a great setback to the spirit of one Africa.
“For any African country to encourage or allow or not seriously sanction xenophobia against Africans in their country is a great disservice not only to the country where xenophobia takes place and the countries of the victims concerned, but also a great disservice to the whole of Africa and black race,” the letter read.
“At this juncture, there is 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.”
OBJ Offers Counsel
Obasanjo suggested that “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.”
Nigerians Return Home
Concise News had reported that 187 Nigerians recently returned to the country from South Africa following the xenophobic attacks.
Another batch of 320 will be coming back to the West African nation from Nelson Mandela’s country on Tuesday.