By Adekunle Williams
Ikeja – A member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Temitope Adewale, on Monday described the South Africans’ xenophobic attacks on Nigerians as a display of lack of knowledge.
Adewale told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, “I think it is lack of knowledge, and the South Africans are not well educated about Nigerians’ roles in securing their freedom”.
The lawmaker, representing Ifako Ijaiye Constituency 1, said besides the fact that Africans need to be one, Nigeria has been of a great help to the South Africans, all along history.
“It (xenophobic attacks) is very disheartening. At what point can we classify ourselves as one in Africa?
“If during the Apartheid, Nigeria was there to support South Africa, fought and spent billions of dollars to get them their freedom, then, why are they doing this to Nigeria Nationals?
“They are killing other nationals as well; I think it is lack of knowledge, because they are not well educated about Nigeria’s in securing their freedom.
“You don’t kill people who look like you; if they work as hard as we do, we won’t have this situation,” he said.
Adewale noted that South African businesses such as DSTV, MTN, Shoprite and more were thriving in Nigeria without any molestation and attack.
The lawmaker called on President Muhammadu Buhari to further encourage and calm Nigerian nationals that had suffered attacks, killings and still grieving in South Africa.
Adewale said that the Federal Government should also address the issue so as to end series of protests and counter-attacks by Nigerians on South African businesses.
“People are grieving, because their families are being killed. To kill a fellow black man is unfortunate. At what point will this stop?
“There is need to educate South African people; it is very important. We find peace in South Africa that is why we go there.
“We contributed to their economy, and we pay tax over there. Those who go there on holiday, just because we want to patronise South Africa, are also being killed.
“The government needs to stand behind his people; they need to reach an agreement between themselves and the South African Government; these killings have to stop,” he said.
The lawmaker then called on the African Union to rise up to address those issues militating against the unity of the continent and move it forward, just as European Union would have done.
Adewale said: “What happens to African Union? Why are leaders in the continent not saying anything? Why haven’t they summoned the South African President?
“The AU is responsible for all African countries that belong to the union. You shouldn’t watch a particular African country kill other Africans.
“Xenophobic attack is real and it is a punishable offence.
“If they have to sanction the South African Government till the xenophobic attacks stop, they should do it.”
NAN reports that two persons were allegedly stabbed in a fresh xenophobic protest on Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa.