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Xenophobia: Obasanjo Applauds South Africa President For Apologising To Affected Nations



Posted by: On October 6, 2019

Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun
Obasanjo, has applauded President Cyril
Ramaphosa of South Africa, for apologising to
countries whose citizens were affected by recent
xenophobic attacks in the country.
Obasanjo in an interview on Saturday, in
Abeokuta, said he met with the South African
president some days back and got an assurance
that things would be done to forestall any future
occurrence.
The former president said one of his high points
during the meeting was the need to establish a
‘Bi-lateral Commission’ between Nigeria and
South Africa to further strengthen their
relationship.
“I believe the president of South Africa did the
right thing by sending emissaries to apologise to
the countries that are affected in the recent
xenophobia, countries like Nigeria, Zimbabwe,
Zambia, and Mozambique and I think this was
good.
“I took the opportunity of being in South Africa
about three or four days ago, to actually pay a
courtesy call on President Cyril Ramaphosa, and
he quickly granted me the opportunity. One of
the major things we discuss in this issue of
xenophobia or Afrophobia.
“One good thing among many things the
president told me was that ‘there are so much at
stake and whatever mistake we have made, we
have to correct it’. And I think that was a very
good statement and I know that he meant it
because he immediately said look what can we
do or should we do?
“Of course, one of the things they are going to
do between South Africa and Nigeria is they are
going to have what we established during my
term called ‘bi-lateral commission’ They have
raised it during my time, it was at the second
echelon level of vice-president, the deputy
president. But, now they have raised it to the
president’s level and I understand that our own
president would be there within the first week of
October. I think that is good because they can
iron out those issues that must not be left
undealt with,” he added.
Obasanjo said he had a discussion with Nigeria’s
Consul-General to South Africa, Godwin Adama,
during his visit and that issue on how to
compensate those who lost their valuables in the
course of the attacks were raised.
He thanked God that no Nigerian was lost while
the attacks lasted.
The former president said, “I met with our
consul-general and fortunately in this particular
incident, there were no Nigerians who lost his or
her life which is good enough, but a lot of them
lost properties. The issue of compensation can
be done f you have genuine list of those who lost
properties or what they lost, there can be
compensation of some sort and that I believe
this is one of the things we should be talking
about.”
He advised the South African government to deal
with any foreigner found guilty of violating the
laws of the land by investigating such fellow and
dispense justice accordingly, saying “if a Nigerian
in South Africa commit an offence, you don’t
have to say this is a Nigerian; he is a citizen and
a residence of your country, please treat him
according to the law of the land.
“The idea of thinking or saying that foreigners
are taking your job that also should be killed
because most of these foreigners paid something
into the country. I met more than two Nigerians
who are doing legitimate business and the turn
overrun into millions of dollars and they
employed 50 to 60 South Africans. All these
must be expressed and must be shown that
Nigerians in South Africa are not drug peddler,
criminals; they are many of them that are
genuine businessmen and professionals and who
are making a meaningful contribution to the
economy and the social life of that country.
“I think that is all we must be doing and be
saying and I said my joy is that President Cyril
Ramaphosa is ready to do what needs to be
done to stop these incidents and to put the
relationship between Nigeria and South Africa on
the right track,” he said further.

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