Aka Ibom indigenes in South Africa make case for victims of xenophobic attacks
President of Akwa Ibom Indigenes Association in South Africa, Kingsley Ibokette, has urged the Federal Government to assist Nigerians affected by xenophobia to re-settle.
Ibokette said in an e-mailed statement at the weekend that the attacks unsettled many Nigerians and other Africans, adding that five members of the association were severely hit by the attacks.
“They lost virtually everything they had. Their houses were torched, lost businesses and means of livelihood and some want to go back home.“We are in the process of registering them at the Nigerian Consulate to begin their journey back home,” he said.He pointed out that the association has assisted the victims within its capacity, adding: “We appeal to the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to assist Akwa Ibom indigenes affected by the attacks.
“We have done the much we can to assist our people, but we believe that there is need for more assistance,’’ he said, adding that the victims needed the assistance urgently.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that he also commended Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace Airline, Allen Onyema for evacuating Nigerians from South Africa free of charge.“Onyema`s gesture gave Nigerians in South Africa prestige and sense of belonging and I appeal to other Nigerians to assist returnees to resettle,” he stated.
Ibokette said one way of checking xenophobia in South Africa is to tackle poverty and create jobs for the people, noting that there were many Nigerians doing well and contributing positively to the South African economy.
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