Xenophobia: Why South Africans attack Nigerians — Dabiri-Erewa Explains

abike dabiri
Abike Dabiri

The Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said that the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa were driven by hate speech and misinformation by South African politicians.

The President’s Special Assistant, who made this known during a television programme tagged: ‘The Osasu Show’, pointed out 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.


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