Xenophobia: South African politicians incited their citizens against Nigerians for taking their women – Abike Dabiri

Following the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, there have been calls for the Nigerian presidency to be more decisive and take punitive measures with reference to the ‘silence’ of President Muhammadu Buhari.

She further stated that politicians fueled the attack by telling their citizens that foreigners, including Nigerians, were taking their women and jobs.

The former lawmaker, who frowned at the attacks on Nigerians and the looting of their properties, in South Africa, admitted that though there were foreigners who commited crime in the rainbow country, and could be dealt with, it was not by discriminating against Nigerians or any other race or country.

She said, “These attacks happened in the past and this is the seventh time. The last one was in 2015… the king of Zulu made some remarks that were inciting, that led to the last attack.

“This particular one, fine, there are economic issues everywhere in the world. Politicians are campaigning and telling their people, ‘you know what, drive these criminals away, they are taking your jobs, and they are taking your women too.”

She advised South African companies operating in Nigeria to do more to educate their people on the need to stop attacks on Nigerians.

She noted that MTN, DStv and other South African companies could initiate a campaign against xenophobia by educating citizens in the former apartheid enclave.

“Imagine MTN sending text messages to everyone in South Africa, saying Xenophobia is bad, don’t do this and that. They should embark on some corporate social responsibility.

“Those multinationals should get up and do something. DStv should be doing various jingles on why xenophobia is bad, they should take over the awareness campaign,” she stated.

However, the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs to the President, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said the President does not need to talk since the Foreign Affairs ministry are on it.

She also said since the South African president, Jacob Zuma has not spoken publicly, PMB does not need to, However, she said there are ‘presidential’ channels for such.

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that all Nigerian ladies trafficked for sex must be rescued and returned to the country.

This order was made known by his SSA while commenting on the issue of human trafficking  while speaking to Osasu Igbinedion on THEOSASUSHOW .

According to the ace journalist, no fewer than 41 girls ranging between 16 – 28 years have voluntarily returned to Nigeria from Mali as a result of collaboration between the Nigerian Embassy and the Malian authorities anchored on mutual agreement.

She called for the education of children against embarking on trips to places they are not familiar with; stressing that girls who are trafficked for sex believed that they were going overseas to engage in white-collar jobs.

She said: “Now on the issue of human trafficking, 41 girls have voluntarily returned to Nigeria from Mali.

“President Buhari has charged us to bring back all these girls trafficked for sex.

“The Nigerian Embassy in Bamako leveraged on the NAF Charlie-130 Hercules aircraft to airlift these girls that were victims of human trafficking.

“The successful repatriation of the girls was as a result of collaboration between the Nigerian Embassy and the Malian authorities anchored on mutual agreement.

“We need to educate our children especially the ladies not to go to where they don’t know.”

Meanwhile, the President has frowned against the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa while rubbishing reports his government was not doing enough to save its citizens.

According to Dabiri-Erewa, the Foreign Affairs ministry was putting in place measures to end the attacks while blaming the South African politicians for inciting their citizens. She said the politicians claimed Nigerians were taking over their jobs and women.