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Aremu blames South Africa’s xenophobic attacks on leadership failure


Issa Aremu

• SERAP urges SADC to intervene
• Students condemn reprisal attacks

A labour leader, Issa Aremu, yesterday described the xenophobic attacks against foreigners in South Africa as the result of leadership failure.

He said: “Reprisal attacks and negative radicalism are not the solutions to the attacks, but a global demand for an all- inclusive job-led development and good governance.”

According to him: “The xenophobic attacks are reflections of the crisis of governance in Africa as revealed by the worsening poverty and unemployment rate.”

Aremu, who is the Vice President of Industrial Global Union, condemned the “reckless violent reactionary attacks and the avoidable destruction of lives and property.”

He stated that the union has over 100 affiliates and 8, 000 members mainly from Nigeria and South Africa.

Aremu, who is also a member of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said: “Serial xenophobic attacks have claimed several lives in South Africa. This is the third time that Africans, particularly Zimbabweans, Nigerians and Pakistanis have become targets of racist attacks by misguided South African citizens.”

He condemned the looting and burning of foreigners’ shops and business premises and warned against reprisal attacks by other African countries.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged King Mswati III of Swaziland to intervene as the Chairperson, Southern African Development Community (SADC).

In an open letter, the group urged the monarch to “convene an emergency summit of its heads of state and government to discuss the issue.”

The letter by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, expressed concern that the South African authorities have failed to “provide effective remedy and reparations to the victims, contrary to the SADC’s mandates on regional integration and human rights.”

Also, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has condemned the reprisal attacks by some youths in Abuja on some multinational firms belonging to South Africa.

NAN’s factional National President, Chinonso Obasi, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja, that: “While we join the rest of the world in condemning the wanton killing and destruction of property in South Africa, we condemn the recent attacks against its firms in Nigeria.”

He urged the protesters to be mindful of the fact that Nigerians are part owners of these firms, which are also creating jobs for unemployed youths.

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