Nigerians in South Africa led by a former presidential candidate in Nigeria, Obiageli Ezekwesili, have demanded the South Africa president, Cyril Ramaphosa to tender an apology on behalf of his citizens, who recently attacked and killed Nigerians and other foreigners in their country.
A communique made available to newsmen on Monday, stated that Ezekwesili met with leaders of the Nigerian community in Cape Town, over the xenophobic attacks on their people.
The meeting comprised of Nigerian entrepreneurs, professionals and the Nigerian community, led by Mr Cosmos Echie, the acting President of the Nigerian Community, Western Cape.
The document, said “It was unanimously agreed that the crisis is detrimental to the spirit of African renaissance, affirmation of black heritage, progress and development.
“Afrophobia compromises everything that the recently brokered intra-African trade – Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement — represents and aspires to deliver,” the communique added while faulting the attacks.
The communique also added that “Officials of the government of South Africa must immediately desist from making any further pejorative and incendiary comments targeting Nigerians and their country and instead publicly commit to taking preventive and surveillance measures that will foreclose a repeat of Afrophobic attacks of Nigerians and other African nationals.
“The President of South Africa, Cyril Remaphosa, should rise to the demands of leadership and reach out to the President of Nigeria to trigger the series of dialogue and actions necessary for swift de-escalation of the brewing conflict between their two countries.
“The President of South Africa should offer a sincere public apology to Nigeria, other countries affected by the attacks and the entire continent for the tragic hostility and harm perpetrated against their citizens.
“The President of South Africa should send a sharp signal to South Africans and the continent by visiting the victims of the Afrophobia attacks to empathize with and reassure them of their safety in South Africa and the government should consider paying compensations for losses sustained in the attacks.
“South Africa and Nigeria should agree a mutual legal assistance cooperation scheme for tackling cases of crimes occurring among their citizens.”
Recall that many Nigerians had recently condemned Ezekwesili for attending the World Economic Forum in Cape Town, eve after the federal government pulled out of it following the xenophobic attacks.