Xenophobia : S’Africa now cemetery of Nigerians – Sen Orji
By Steve Oko
Former Governor of Abia State and senator representing Abia Central, Senator Theodore Orji, has expressed sadness over the rising xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.
Senator Orji in a press statement by his Media Aide, Eddy Onuzurike, said South Africa had regrettably turned into a grave yard for Nigerians.
The former Governor said it was unthinkable and the height of ingratitude for South Africa to reward Nigeria with unprovoked attacks to her citizens after benefiting so huge from Nigeria during the war against apartheid.
Senator Orji in the statement said :”The heightened xenophobic attacks and resultant killings in South Africa, a country that had in the past enjoyed Nigerian largess, hospitality and big-brother status is highly appalling, grossly unacceptable and violates the Rule of Law, an international code and convention.
“It is on record that Nigeria paid a huge price for the emancipation of South Africa’s Blacks from the supremacist overlords of South African regime of P W Botha and his predecessors who jailed Mandela for 27 years and other harsh penalties for his fellow freedom fighters.
“At a point, South Africa was Nigeria’s trading partner in oil but Nigeria cut off supplies as a sanction against its oppressive policies. Apart from protesting the Sharpeville shootings of the 60s, Nigeria later made Africa the centerpiece of her foreign policy and supported peacekeeping forces in Liberia, Mozambique, Angola and other African countries.
“The freedom fighters of many of these countries all had political asylum in Nigeria including cash and other logistics supports. Why should the blacks of South Africa turn around to viciously bite the finger that feed them, more so under the watch of a former freedom fighter thus making S A the grave yard of Nigerians?
“No matter the degree of provocation, any civil society worth it salts should not at peace time turn to lynching, heinous murder and incineration of fellow humans who have right to live while destroying their properties. The Nigerian government should be up to its diplomatic best to resolve this issue to forestall reprisals.
“South African Blacks hugely owe her freedom to Nigeria and Nigerians. They should think back!”
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