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Rep-elect urges dialogue over xenophobia in S’Africa


Kayode Oladele PHOTO:

Kayode Oladele PHOTO:

A NEWLY elected member of the House of Representatives, and former Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kayode Oladele has said that it was not necessary to recall Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa over the xenophobic attacks.

According to him, since South Africa’s government was now making efforts to quell the violence, what should be done from Nigeria’s side is to get commitment from the South Africa that Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country will be safe henceforth.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press statement at the weekend, announcing the recall of the High Commissioner to South Africa for consultations. Also, earlier last week, the Senate demanded the recall of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa.

“If we recall the High Commissioner, how do we handle the fate of thousands of poor Nigerians who are the targets of the attack? Further, the South African government has condemned the attacks in the strongest terms. Since there is no diplomatic row between both countries on this matter, I do not support the call for the recall of our High commissioner. I think our efforts should be aimed at ensuring that the South African government guarantees the safety of lives and properties of Nigerians and other foreigners living in the country, assuming as it were, that Nigeria is not going to evacuate her citizens from the troubled country”, Olawale said in an interview with The Guardian.

Olawale who will be representing Egbado (Yewa) North/Imeko-Afon Federal constituency in Ogun State in the Lower House, however, said that perpetrators of the violence must be arrested and brought to justice while South Africa must make efforts to educate its youths who were born after the fall of apartheid on the roles played by Nigeria and other African nations towards their freedom.

“I think those involved in attacking foreigners, particularly, Nigerians living in South Africa must be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent of the law while South Africans should be educated on the role Nigeria played to free them from the shackles of apartheid. They should be educated because they need to know that when the apartheid regime in South Africans saw black South Africans as third class citizens in their own country, Nigeria and Nigerians stood by them. We spent our tax payers’ money; we used our resources to fight apartheid and its sympathisers globally,” he added.

“This group of rampaging South Africans need to be educated that during the struggle against apartheid, ordinary Nigerian workers parted with their hard earned salaries to contribute to the Southern African Relief Fund (SARF) which supported exiled South Africans while preparing for a possible military liberation. Those attacking Nigerians need to be educated about the role of Nigeria’s National Committee for Action against Apartheid (NACAP) in popularising the need to liberate South Africa from the clutches of apartheid.”

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