Xenophobic attacks: Many Nigerians in S/Africa now suffering – Association

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa

By Fortune Abang

The Nigerian Citizens’ Association South Africa (NICASA)has raised alarm that some Nigerians who suffered losses to arson perpetrated against foreigners in xenophobic attacks in the former apartheid enclave are now suffering.

The Association therefore appealed to the South African government to fulfill its promise of providing succour to those affected in the xenophobic attacks.

The President General of NICASA, Mr Benjamin Okoli, made this known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, against the backdrop of meetings held between South African authorities, the Nigeria Consul General and NICASA executive members.

He said that although the South African government had been commended on its pro-active stance in restoring normalcy after the crisis in the country, it should do more to assist victims of the attacks.

According to him, nothing been done so far to alleviate the plight and the sufferings of victims of the last coordinated looting and arson attack on foreigners, by arsonists and criminal elements.

Okoli said: “Despite assurances and a pledge by the South African government, none of the Nigerian victims has received any kind of succour.

“NICASA has submitted a report and information on losses suffered by our nationals, who were affected by the menace, to both the Nigerian consulate and High Commission.

“We hope that something would be done quickly, to arrest the desperate situation our people are facing, just yesterday one of the victims of that attack was at the Consulate begging to be repatriated back home to Nigeria to his family.

“He was locked out of his house for owing two-months rent; his only means of livelihood was destroyed during the attack and those of many Nigerians who are now despondent, from the looting and destruction of their means of livelihood.

“We continue to appeal to the South African government to live up to its promise, to alleviate the sufferings of our people and those others who suffered losses.”

He recalled à meeting held at Nelspruit and Mpumalanga Province with the Consul General and Mpumalanga Provincial Police commissioner, on the efforts to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians in the town and province. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)