Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa has urged Nigerians to exercise caution in the way and manner with which they react to the Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.
She said President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration will continue to demand and insist on fairness and justice for all Nigerians. She describes the recent vandalization and destruction of properties belonging to South African Brands in the country as a step taken in the wrong direction.
”That’s not who we are as Nigerians. We are humane and we respect humanity. We welcome our visitors, we don’t go humiliating them. And more so, by destroying properties and looting, they are actually doing more harm to Nigerians in Nigeria than South Africans’’.
According to her, peaceful and non-violent protests are a better option rather than violence as two wrongs do not make anything right. ‘’Nothing wrong with a peaceful, non-violent protest, and the government has taken the right actions making it clear that it would not tolerate maltreatment of its citizens’’.
Erewa’s call for caution comes as the South African govt temporarily closes its diplomatic missions in Nigeria following reprisal attacks by Nigerians triggered by the xenophobic violence in SA, meanwhile, Nigeria has announced plans to evacuate its nationals from South Africa.
South African Foreign Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor said on Thursday that the embassy was closed temporarily after threats led to fears for staff safety. “There is Afrophobia we are sensing that exists, there is resentment and we need to address that,” Pandor told newsmen on Thursday.
Foreign ministry spokesman Lunga Ngqengelele confirmed the diplomatic missions in the Nigerian cities of Lagos and Abuja have been closed since Wednesday. The announcement, which signals worsening diplomatic relations between the two African countries, comes after Nigeria introduced plans to evacuate its nationals from South Africa following a wave of attacks on foreigners.
Videos and images that have been shared on social media purporting to show Nigerians being attacked and killed may have inflamed tensions. This according to her is made worse when many in the country do not have the patience to verify the source and date of a video clip before sending it out to their individual broadcast list. Also, there are many fake videos in circulation, they are fake and dangerous and fueling unrest.