Ajanaku advises Nigeria, SA on xenophobia standoff

A Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress in Oyo State, Asiwaju Rotimi Ajanaku has appealed to the governments of Nigeria and South Africa to put the economic implications of the face-off between the two countries as a result of xenophobia attacks in the former country where many Nigerians are reported to have been killed.

Speaking in an interview recently, Asiwaju Rotimi said he was one of those that rose against the barbaric act perpetrated by some disgruntled elements who attacked foreigners in South Africa two weeks ago.

He also agreed that the decision of people all over the country to speak with one voice against the attacks yielded positive results and equally forced the South Africans to cease fire.

“If we had kept quiet to the incessant killings of our people things would have gone out of control by now, our actions have yielded good and encouraging results.

“We initially called for sanctions against SA and her citizens when they appeared unrepentant in their attack against Nigerians and other Africa nationalities and the response from the federal government then seemed unsatisfactory.”

“Nigerian government felt pressured to act and subsequently recalled its Ambassador from Pretoria and pulled out of the World Economic Forum meeting on Africa which was held in Cape Town.”

“Also encouraged and supported bringing back Nigerians who have faced danger in South Africa. On the other, South Africans have also started trooping out in large numbers appealing to foreigners for forgiveness, likewise government of South Africa has sent delegates to countries whose citizens were affected by the attacks.

While calling attention to assessment of the economic effects the issue may have caused the two countries, he cautioned that a speedy resolution to the lingering crises is in the best interest of the duo.

“There is urgent need by the presidents of the two countries to come out strong to signal intention to end ugly incident threatening their togetherness and make public declaration not to harm relations with each other. The two giants of African economies should see themselves as allies and willing to keep the relationship that in many ways has produced good results.

“There is an existing binational commission between the two countries which should be used to reshuffle their cards to avoid reoccurrence of xenophobia and other diplomatic rancours. Proper investigation should be carried out to identify the major culprits and subsequently place very heavy and massive sanctions on them.

He said Nigeria should consider its economic situation, state of insecurity and other various problems affecting lives of over 160 millions of its population in its decision on South Africa.

“The two nations should know that reforms are urgently needed to create a competent, less corrupt, better-resourced, and civic-minded police and immigration services, as well as anti-grafts agencies. Efficient border controls are one of the hallmarks of sovereignty and the first line of defence against xenophobia. Broken borders breed criminality. Human and drug trafficking feature prominently in the discourse on xenophobia in South Africa,” Asiwaju added.

“Immigration policies between the two countries must be critically reassessed and reviewed. The newly-inaugurated AU Free Movement of Persons Protocol will certainly not work or implemented if South Africa and Nigeria do not support by participating in it to make it reality.”

“Also, without the leadership of its two major economies, Africa is not going to make any traction on the new treaty establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Ironically, the WEF meeting in Cape Town boycotted by Nigeria because of xenophobia was to address ways to boost intra-African trade. unfortunately it was boycotted to resist further attack on Nigerians, this will surely affect both countries as well as other nations that depended on them.” ASIWAJU AJANAKU advised.

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