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XENOPHOBIA: Time to Act is Now, Igbo Leaders Tell Buhari

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU), says it received with shock, the news of yet another xenophobic attack on the businesses of foreigners living in South Africa, particularly  Nigerians.

ASETU notes that “these attacks on the lives and businesses of Nigerians living in South Africa have become recurrent that the Federal Govt of Nigeria can no longer remain docile and indifferent.

“It said  although these attacks are sometimes claimed to be on foreigners, we all know that Nigerians are the main targets.

“The Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) wishes to remind Federal  Govt of Nigeria that the primary responsibility of government all over the world is the protection of lives and property of its citizenry wherever they are domiciled.

It equally  reminded the Nigerian government  that its inaction in previous attacks have emboldened these South Africans to unleash mayhem, loot the businesses of Nigerians and kill them at will, knowing that our docility and inaction will always prevail.

 “On the other hand, ASETU notes with nostalgia, purported media reports that the Nigerian embassy in South Africa shut it doors against Nigerians who ran to it for safety. ASETU calls for thorough investigation of this report.

 cv-The Association therefore,  calls on the Nigeria government to “wake up now and be alive to its responsibilities to her citizenry both at home and in the diaspora; and to take the issues of their safety and security seriously.

“The quantum and quality of action we take should be in tandem with our claim of being the giant of Africa”

The Association reacted via a press statement made available  to African Examiner in Enugu on Wednesday which was signed by  its National President chief Emeka Diwe and national 

National President Secretary,  Hon. Gideon Adikwuru respectively

“We also call on the National Assembly to cut short its recess and reconvene immediately to discuss and handle this recent attack as a matter of urgent national importance.

“Our continued failure to protect the lives and property of Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora speaks volumes of our diplomatic ineptitude and erodes our international value in the comity of nations, which should be a matter for serious concerns to the legislature.

 “ASETU wishes to remind the government and people of South Africa that it is too early to forget their history of apartheid and Nigeria’s big brother role and support financially, diplomatically and otherwise in the fight for their freedom.

“They should not forget easily that Nigeria was in the forefront of their emancipation from slavery. It is therefore conscienceless on their part to pay us back with such a bad coin.

  “ASETU also calls on the African Union(AU) to speak against these South African xenophobic attacks as their silence seems conciliatory.

 “Finally we urge the Fed Govt of Nigeria to address frontally, the issues that induce our citizens taking flight to other countries for greener pastures such as bad governance and impoverishment of our people albeit, amidst plenty, the time to act is now.



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