The Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said that the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa was driven by hate speech and misinformation.
Dabiri-Erewa who stated this during a television programme tagged The Osasu Show, pointed out that South African politicians fuel the attack by telling their citizens that foreigners, including Nigerians, are taking their women and jobs.
The ex-House of Represantatives member who rues the attacks on Nigerians and the looting of their properties, admitted that though there were foreigners who commit crime in the rainbow country, such can be dealt without discriminating against Nigerians or any other race or country.
She said if South Africa wants to fight crime, it should fight it squarely not fighting brothers and sisters who are legitimately working in their country.
According to her,“These attacks happened in the past and this is the seventh time. The last one was in 2015… the king of Zulu made some remarks that were inciting, that led to the last attack.
“This particular one, fine, there are economic issues everywhere in the world. Politicians are campaigning and telling their people, ‘you know what, drive these criminals away, they are taking your jobs, and they are taking your women too,” she said.
She advised South Africa companies operating in Nigeria to do more to educate South Africans on the need to stop xenophobia, adding that MTN, DStv and other South African companies should initiate a campaign against xenophobia by educating citizens in the former apartheid enclave.
Her words,“Imagine MTN sending text messages to everyone in South Africa, saying Xenophobia is bad, don’t do this and that. They should embark on some corporate social responsibility.
”Those multinationals should get up and do something. DStv should be doing various jingles on why xenophobia is bad, they should take over the awareness campaign,” she averred. –