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Xenophobia: Obasanjo writes Buthelezi, says attacks will cripple investment in South Africa



( ) Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday said it was a “fallacy” for South Africa to believe that xenophobia would make more jobs available to its citizens.

Obasanjo, in a letter to the Leader of South-Africa’s Inkatha Freedom Party, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, said that such attitude would rather cripple investment in the country.

“As it is being touted that xenophobia will give South Africans more jobs, I dare say, it is fallacy.

“Xenophobia will make investment in South Africa more difficult, which will lead to lack of job creation and loss of existing jobs,” Obasanjo said in condemning the recent xenophobic attack against Nigerians in South-Africa.

Obasanjo noted that Nigerians had played great roles in the liberation of different peoples in different parts of Africa, including fighting against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

He said such kind gestures were not motivated by praises or positions but by sense of duty and obligation as Africans towards fellow Africans.

The former president condemned what he described as “incompetence or collusion” on the part of South African Police for standing aloof watching miscreants and criminals committing crimes against fellow human beings in the country.

“This was experienced in South Africa in recent times and it shows either incompetence or collusion on the part of the police.

“We believe that Africans living in any other part of Africa must be treated as brothers and friends.

“If they commit any crime, they should be treated like citizens of that country will be treated when they commit crime which will mean applying judicial process,” he said.

He advised South African government to send emissaries to the countries concerned to explain, apologise and agree on the way forward for mutual understanding, accommodation, reconciliation to promote brotherhood in Africa.

“Repatriation of Nigerians from South- Africa is obviously not a permanent solution. At best, it is palliative because the hurt will still remain for some time and revenge is also not the desirable solution.

“Mutual understanding and acknowledgement of what needs to be done on all sides is imperative and getting down to doing them is the solution that will serve Nigeria and South Africa and indeed Africa, particularly in this era of Africa Continental Free Trade Area opportunities.

“In the final analysis, if South- Africa fails to initiate appropriate and satisfactory steps to deal with the issues to pacify affected victims and work for reconciliation, the countries concerned should come together to table appropriate motions at the African Union level first and consider other measures if the situation is allowed to continue,” he said.

He said that most migrants did not migrate to other countries with total emptiness, adding that some had education, skills, experience, expertise, entrepreneurship which could help economies of host countries.

“What has helped most developed countries in the world is openness and receiving migrants with open hands and open minds.

“In any case, all of us in the world are migrants, no matter where we live, depending only on how far back you want to go,” he said.

Obasanjo urged African countries to develop programmes that would provide livelihood for its
terming youth population.

He noted that such measure would discourage the youths from embarking on hazardous journeys to places where their lives would be endangered.


Edited by Wale Ojetimi


Xenophobia: Nigeria, South Africa to cement relations through cultual diplomacy



The Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of South Africa on Thursday resolved to use cultural exchanges to cement relationship among their people and end xenophobia.

The agreement was reached in Lagos at a meeting between Nigeria Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the South Africa Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.

Speaking at the event, Mohammed said that Nigeria would continue to explore culture and tourism as veritable platforms to strengthen its ties with South Africa.

“We have always believed that culture and tourism are very effective platforms and avenues for cementing relationship between the two countries.

“A few years back, we did actually put in motion the machinery for cultural exchanges between Nigeria and South Africa and we are still working on it.

“We believe that a lot of issues can be resolved when we bring to South Africa our very popular artistes because I am told that a few Nigerian musicians are extremely popular in South Africa and vice versa,” he said.

The minister said that in the wake of recent happenings in South Africa, such engagements and visitations at the highest level of government would inspire the citizens of both nations to continue to work harmoniously and live in peace.

After a closed door meeting with his counterpart Mohammed told newsmen that they resolved to strengthen ties between the two countries.

“We discussed and we have really seen that more things unite us than those that divide us.

“We have resolved at least at the level of the leadership, to ensure that the good ties between Nigeria and South Africa continue.

“We also resolved to inspire our people by example to continue to work together and live as brothers and sisters, which they have done for many years,” he said.

On her part, Kubayi-Ngubane emphasised the need for cultural exchanges between the citizens of the two countries as a deliberate policy to strengthen the bond between them.

Kubayi-Ngubane said she was in Nigeria to further demonstrate her country’s commitment to the discussions held between President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Muhammadu Buhari in South Africa, following the recent attacks on Nigerians in that country.

She said the President of South Africa had appointed former President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete and former President of Mozambique Joaquim Chissano to work with South African communities with a view to finding lasting solutions to the crisis.

The minister urged the citizens of both countries to be wary of fake news, being deliberately published to worsen the crisis.

“One of the issues that we reiterated was that we need to be careful of the fake news sometimes that exacerbate what is not real and what is not true and that does not necessarily mean that we are abdicating our responsibilities as leaders.

“Where things have happened wrong, we take responsibility as leaders.

“What we are saying, however, to our citizens in the two countries is that we need to be careful of fake news.

“We must get the real story, verify the information before we take things out of context,” she said.

Nigeria News Agency reports that Kubayi-Ngubane was accompanied by Mr Darkey Africa, South Africa Consul-General, Lagos, Mr Bobby Moroe, Deputy High Commissioner, South Africa High Commission, Abuja and Morongie Ramphele, a Director in charge of Tourism.

In the Nigeria team were Mr Segun Adeyemi and Mr Williams Adeleye both Special Assistants to the President attached to office of the Minister and Mrs Fkirence Sowunmi, Director International Tourism, Promotion and Cooperation in the ministry.

Edited & Vetted By: Ese E. Ekama


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Racism, xenophobia, protectionism constitute threat to multilateral efforts at addressing global challenges – Muhammad-Bande



Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, President, United Nations General Assembly says racism, xenophobia, resurgent nationalism, as well as tendencies toward protectionism in Africa and other parts of the world are a threat multilateral efforts at addressing global challenges.

Muhammad-Bande made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja when he paid his first official visit to Nigeria since he was elected President of UNGA.

Multilateral efforts are processes of organising relations between groups of three or more states. Multilateral efforts comprise certain qualitative elements or principles such as indivisibility of interests among participants, a commitment to diffuse reciprocity, and a system of dispute settlement intended to enforce a particular mode of behaviour.

These elements and principles shape the character of the multilateral efforts or arrangement.

According to him, no country of community Is self-sufficient, hence the need to strife for peace and unity.

He said that the striving for meaningful development required countries in Africa to work closely to collectively address the challenges and concerns of the continent.

He added that it was for that reason no African country remained silent on racism and xenophobia.

“All African countries have condemned racism. No African country is silent on racism. After all, the struggle against apartheid was not a South African struggle, but a struggle of Africans and its friends and those who believe in humanity and that is one.

, entitled “New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants,” which decided to launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration.

He said that the Compact was to cover all dimensions of migration and to ensure migration was done in a safe and regular manner.

According to him, the document is very rich and it seeks to address the concerns of migration.

Muhammad-Bande added that the first positive development contained in the document was the recognition of migration as a positive thing.

The president of the General Assembly, however, explained that migration could be on the negative when carried out in an irregular manner and through dangerous and deadly routes.

Muhammad-Bande said that the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration was a hard negotiation for stakeholders “but there is an opportunity to see how well it will be implemented.”

He said that the document would be reviewed after four years to assess the successes recorded and the challenges still existing for further action to be taken.

He noted that the adoption of a compact is derived from the fact that “there is a problem and the way to deal with a problem is to see collectively whether there is a way to address that problem.”

(Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim)

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No African country is silent on racism, xenophobia — UNGA President



Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) says no African country is silent on racism and xenophobia, as all nations on the continent condemned such actions.

He said this in a special interview with Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, during his first official visit to the country as President of the General Assembly.

He affirmed that racism, xenophobia and resurgent nationalism and tendencies toward protectionism in Africa and other parts of the world were threats to multilateralism.

According to him, no country or community is self sufficient, hence the need to strife for peace, and unity, and going forward requires collective efforts toward addressing the challenges and concerns of the continent.

He noted that “fortunately, the issue between South Africa and other African countries has been successfully resolved, with the presidents of South Africa and Nigeria urging citizens to embrace peace.

“All African countries condemned racism, no African country is silent on racism, after all, the struggle against apartheid was not a South African struggle.

“It was a struggle of Africans and its friends and those who believe in humanity.

“The situation surrounding South Africa has already been resolved, it is not even an issue between South Africa and Nigeria, it involves other African countries and the mistake in that situation has been well understood and resolved.

“You can see after the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to South Africa the whole idea that going forward, it is simply and collectively to address common concerns on the continent.”

On the issue of irregular migration, which is a challenge in the West-African sub-region, Muhammad-Bande said that the UN adopted the Global Compact on Migration in December 2018 in Marrakech, Morroco.

He explained that the compact was endorsed by the UN General Assembly to cover all dimensions of migration and to ensure that migration was done in a safe and regular manner.

He added that the first positive development contained in the document was recognising migration as a positive thing, noting however that the act could have negative results when carried out irregularly and through dangerous and deadly routes.

The UNGA president, who noted that the adoption of the Global Compact on Migration was a hard negotiation for stakeholders, added that it would be an opportunity to see how well it would be implemented.

He said that the document would be reviewed after four years to assess the successes and challenges.

He explained that “the fact that there is a compact is because there is a problem and the way to deal with a problem is to collectively see whether there is a way to address it.”

The UNGA President arrived in Abuja on Nov. 21 on a four-day official visit.

Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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South African police arrest 100 people in protest against xenophobia





Johannesburg, Oct. 30, 2019 The South African police on Wednesday arrested 100 people as part of an operation to disperse a group of refugees and asylum seekers, who had staged a prolonged sit-in near the UN refugee agency in Cape Town.

The refugees and asylum seekers have been camping outside the offices of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for weeks.

They were asking to be moved out of South Africa, where they say they do not feel safe after a wave of xenophobic violence.

Local media showed footage of police firing water cannon into the crowd of protesters, some of whom were visibly distressed or had small children strapped to their backs, and removing personal items like clothes, sleeping bags and cooking equipment from the street.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) said in a statement they moved in to evict around 300 people from the area in accordance with a court order.

“About one hundred people have been arrested after they failed to heed the call to disperse,” the police said.

The police added that the UNHCR had tried to resolve the impasse without success.

The refugees want to be repatriated to their home countries or moved elsewhere after a spate of deadly riots and attacks in September, which killed at least 10 people and left many foreigners afraid to live in the country.

The violence, which was targeted at African immigrant populations, sparked reprisal attacks, overshadowed a pan-African economic conference in Cape Town and drove a wedge between South Africa and other nations on the continent, including its other major economy, Nigeria.

Hundreds of people were arrested during the violence, which has flared up periodically in South Africa.

(Edited by: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim)

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Nigeria, SA to implement `Early Warning Signal` to curb xenophobia -NIDCOM



Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) said Nigeria and South Africa would implementation the “Early Warning Signal” mechanisms signed by the two countries to curb xenophobic attacks.

In a statement signed by the Head of Media Unit of NIDCOM, Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Wednesday, Dabiri-Erewa spoke against the backdrop of renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

The statement quoted Dabiri-Erewa as saying that “the Consul General is on top of the situation.

“The Consul-General, Godwin Adama, is currently in Widbank, Mpumulanga, where the crisis happened. He is at a meeting with the highest police authorities there.

“The mission intervened immediately and the situation is currently under control.

“After this meeting, a meeting with Nigerians along with the South African Police will hold,’’ she assured.

Dabiri-Erewa added that further developments at this stage would be taken up at the ministerial level, between the two ministers of foreign affairs of both countries.

President Muhammadu Buhari was in South Africa between Oct. 3 and Oct. 5 on a state visit which coincided with the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

“Series of agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were signed by the two African states to cement the relationship and nip the hostilities in the bud.

“However on Tuesday, it was reported that South African citizens resumed xenophobic attacks against Nigerians living in Mpumalamga area of the country” she said.


Edited by Gregg Mmaduakolam/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Xenophobia: Abia Union in South Africa commends Gov. Ikpeazu for assisting returnees



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 Nigeria News Agency 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. (NAN)


(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Xenophobia: Akeredolu receives returnees, promises enabling environment for new life



Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, on Friday, promised to give necessary support and provide an enabling environment for South African returnees of Ondo origin to start new lives.

Akeredolu, who received the returnees in his office, also presented cash gifts of N100,000 to each of the returnees for resettlement activities in their various communities.

Represented by his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, the governor particularly condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other nationals living in South Africa by the indegenes.

He described the attacks as unwarranted, barbaric and condemnable.

Akeredolu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his visit to South Africa to condemn the ugly incident and find a lasting solution to it.

He charged the returnees not to be discouraged by what had happened to them but to be ready to start a new life as they returned safely to Nigeria, their fatherland.

“We also have various windows of opportunities, including youths and women empowerment as well as agricultural and entrepreneurship programmes, among several others.

“Therefore, avail yourselves with any of them to better your lives,” he said.

According to Akeredolu, the returnees should not be hostile to any foreigner around them so that African countries can be a better place for all to live in.

The governor equally appreciated the management of Air Peace airline for conveying the returnees to the country, free of charge.

Earlier, Fola Olasehinde-Vincente, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Diaspora Affairs, commended Akeredolu for his kind gesture towards the returnees by ensuring they settled down peacefully and happily.

She enjoined the returnees to strive to reintegrate themselves into the society, urging them to eschew all forms of crimes in the state.

Responding on behalf of the returnees, Sholanke Omolara, appreciated the state government for the support given to them.

She lamented their travails in South Africa, describing it ‘very terrible and nasty’. (NAN)


Edited by Olabisi Akinbode and ‘Wale Sadeeq



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State visit: Group lauds Buhari for far-reaching steps to check xenophobia



The Progressive Students Movement (PSM) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking far-reaching steps to stop xenophobic attacks on Nigerians by South Africans during his ongoing state visit to South Africa.

The PSM, a pan-African students organisation, also lauded Buhari for using his state visit to South Africa to strengthen African unity and oneness.

The President of PSM in Nigeria, Mr Bestman Okereafor, gave the commendation in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Enugu on Friday.

Okereafor said it was a great relief that Buhari unequivocally condemned in strongest terms attacks against Nigerians and other African nationals living in South Africa as well as the looting of their shops, businesses and burning of their properties.

According to him, PSM aligns with Buhari’s call for the implementation of all necessary measures to prevent recurrence of xenophobic attacks, which he said, threatened the strong bilateral relations and vision of a united and prosperous Africa.

“PSM is, however, relieved with the signing of 32 Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) by President Buhari and South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to strengthen bilateral trade, security and understanding between Nigeria and South Africa.

“PSM also wish to call on South African Government to ensure that all agreements between  both countries are reached, aimed at strengthening Africa Unity, are fully carried out by the country’s government and her people.

“Even as we anticipate a national monumental center in the heart of South African capital in honour of Nigerians killed and in further appreciation of Nigeria’s fatherly support to South Africa during the apartheid struggle,’’ he said.

Okereafor also urged the South African Government to ensure sincerity of purpose to all its submission and agreement during President Buhari’s visit.

“The government must muster the political-will to carry out all existing and recently signed agreements,’’ he said. (NAN)


Edited  by  Kevin  Okunzuwa/Tajudeen Atitebi

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Xenophobia: Buhari, Ramaphosa endorse early warning mechanism against reoccurrence



President Muhamadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday in Pretoria, South Africa endorsed the establishment of an Early Warning Mechanism  as a preventative and monitoring platform against the reoccurrence of attacks.

Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs made this known in a joint commique issued in Pretoria following the State visit of President Buhari to South Africa.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the visit which was on the invitation of Ramaphosa also coincides with the inaugural session of the elevated Bi-National Commission (BNC) between Nigeria and South Africa.

In the communique, both Presidents condemned the recent violent incidents and destruction of property and reiterated their call for heightened law enforcement.

They stressed the importance of high level engagements on this unfortunate phenomenon as demonstrated by the reciprocal dispatch of Special Envoys by both countries.

To this regard, the two Presidents endorsed and directed the two Foreign Ministers of both countries to give practical expression to the Early Warning Mechanism to be used as a preventative and monitoring platform.

President Ramaphosa briefed President Buhari on the recent incidents of violence in South Africa affecting foreign nationals, alluding that these unfortunate incidents were not consistent with the values and principles underpinning South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

“Ramaphosa also dispelled the notion that incidents of violence affecting foreign nationals were targeted at Nigerian nationals, as other foreign nationals and indeed South Africans were affected as well.

“He assured Buhari that the South African Government was fully in control of the situation and several interventions including engagements with diplomatic community and émigré communities, security operations, policy and legislation reviews were underway.

“Both Presidents strongly condemned the attacks against foreign nationals including Nigerians in South Africa and the reprisal actions against South Africans and their interests in Nigeria, expressing strong commitment to stop a recurrence.

“Which they said undermine the vision of a strong and prosperous Africa that the two countries have for the continent.

“The two Presidents further endorsed the reestablishment of the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Republic of Nigeria consular Forum to meet twice a year”, the communiqué stated.

Presidents Buhari and Ramaphosa further  reviewed a wide range of bilateral, continental and global issues of common interest.

They acknowledged the historical and strategic relations that exist between the two countries, and the need to further strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation.

Both Presidents noted with satisfaction the continued exchange of high level visits and meetings between the two countries, to which regard, they recalled the successful working visit of President Ramaphosa to Nigeria in July 2018.

They recalled that during the visit, both Heads of State reaffirmed their collective desire and commitment to enhance political, economic and social relations between the two countries.

“They both appreciated the vast nature of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation which covers, amongst others; Trade and Investment, Energy, Mining, Defence and Security issues, Justice, Police, Immigration, Tourism, Environment, Education, transport as well as Science and Technology.

“In this regard, the two Presidents took note of the thirty two (32) signed Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).

“And committed themselves to ensuring that those which are in force are fully implemented while those which are not yet in force are to be revived for implementation.

Also contained in the Communique, Buhari and Ramaphosa noted with great satisfaction the economic cooperation between the two Republics and welcomed the steps to increase trade volumes as well as private sector investments.

They welcomed the important role of the Business Forum, which took place on the margins of the State Visit.

Both Presidents further welcomed the decision to establish a Joint Ministerial Advisory Council on Industry, Trade and Investment which the inauguration meeting of the Council would hold not later than April 2020, in Abuja.

They explained that the Council is expected to serve as a critical vehicle in facilitating and promoting private sector participation in the economies of both countries.

Both leaders took note of the significant footprint of South African businesses operating in Nigeria in sectors such as telecommunications, mining, aviation, banking and finance, retail, property, entertainment and fast foods industries.

They also noted and welcomed the business activities of Nigeria’s small, micro and medium enterprises, as well as the investment of Dangote Sephaku Cement in South Africa.

They exchanged views on the current political, economic and security situation in their respective regions, expressing grave concern on the ongoing instability, terrorism and extremism in some of the countries on the Continent.

Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working together in pursuit of sustainable peace and economic development on the continent in the context of AU Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement. (NAN)



edited by Sadiya Hamza

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