By Peter Ejiofor
Lagos – Mr Chima Umealo, President-General of Abia Union in South Africa, has commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia for assisting indigenes of the state who returned from that country because of Xenophobia.
Umealo, who gave the commendation on Wednesday, said that seven Abia indigenes affected by the attacks had returned to Nigeria.
“Abia Union in South Africa thanks Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for meeting the returnees, rehabilitated them through the state Diaspora Office led by Dr Ngozi Erondi.
“The governor introduced the returnees to skills acquisition programme and other welfare packages to assist them re-start life after the attacks,’’ he said in an e-mailed statement to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Johannesburg.
Umealo urged other governors to assist returnees from their states to re-settle after losing all they had to the xenophobic attacks.
According to him, government at all levels should provide basic infrastructure for the people to promote economic activities and employment.
He said some Nigerians abroad were suffering and were reluctant to go home because of lack of basic infrastructure.
“I appeal to the three tiers of government to lay more emphasis on infrastructure development and creation of employment.
“Many Nigerians who travelled abroad go for skills acquisition. They want to impart such knowledge when they return,’’ he said.
Umealo said that though Nigeria and South Africa had agreed to check Xenophobia, the challenges of the low income earners in that country who carry out the attacks had not been addressed.
“The challenges of the low income earners have not been properly addressed and it will take time to take care of their interest,’’ he said.
Umealo called for concerted efforts to enlighten the people against the dangers of such attacks because it gives Africa negative image among the comity of nations.