Following recent reports of attacks on non-indigenes residing in South Africa, especially Nigerians, the Nigerian Youths Congress (NYC) has called on the South African authorities to immediately halt the ongoing xenophobic attacks in their territories or have their nationals in Nigeria subjected to similar treatment.
The warning by NYC is in response to disheartening videos making the rounds which showed South African locals attacking and burning foreigners (Nigerians inclusive) alive, and in some instances, looting their shops.
Reacting to the incident, the president, NYC, Comrade Yakubu Shendam, who expressed dismay at the heinous act, regretted that South African authorities are silent on such callous acts perpetrated against a people who have contributed largely to their economic growth.
He said it was ingratitude and sheer act of wickedness for any South African national to contemplate harming foreigners, particularly Nigerians who stood behind them during their trying moments.
He said, “South African citizens are scattered around Nigeria excelling in various businesses and are being protected by the government. In telecommunications alone, what South Africans make from Nigeria is unimaginable.
“If the Nigerian government and people can provide the enabling environment for South Africans to thrive and in turn, her citizens are being maimed and killed for being foreigners, Nigerian youths may be compelled to mete out similar treatment to South Africans operating in the country”.
Commenting on the bilateral relations between the two countries, the youth leader said the sin against human right to life perpetrated against Nigerians devastatingly betrayed the love Nigeria demonstrated in her efforts towards ending the apartheid regime.
“Nigerian youths cannot continue to sit and watch South Africans thrive in their various endeavours while Nigerians who are out there in South Africa pursuing legitimate businesses are being hunted down everyday”, he stated.
The IYC president said henceforth, any report of xenophobia or any maltreatment further meted out to Nigerians in South Africa will be retaliated against their nationals operating in Nigeria. “Enough is enough; if South African government cannot call its youths to order, we will be left with no alternative but to prove to them that they do not have monopoly of violence,” he added.