The Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ), has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to stop handling the xenophobic attacks on innocent Nigerians in South Africa with kid gloves.
Mr Adeyemi Obadimu, the NGIJ spokesperson in a statement on Wednesday, stressed the need for the Federal government to put a permanent stop on the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians by imposing stiff sanctions on South African businesses in Nigeria.
He noted that these attacks have been going on for this long because South Africans have always got away with it.
“In the past 24 hours, Nigeria and Nigerians have been regaled with horrific videos and images coming out of South-Africa of xenophobic attacks on innocent Africans, especially Nigerians.
“These incessant barbaric attacks are not new and, if nothing drastic is done will still be repeated in the foreseeable future.
“It is even more worrisome and appalling that in a statement credited to the South African Deputy Minister of Police, the authorities had seemingly justified the attacks by questioning the rationale for the preponderance of foreign nationals in their cities.
“This statement indicts the Government of South Africa and lends credence to the general belief that the Government, and it’s agencies, are in support of these barbaric attacks”.
NGIJ therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria and read him the riot act.
“The federal government should in a stern and succinct tone let the South African High Commissioner be aware that the country will recall her High Commissioner from SA if concrete action(s) to protect Nigerians and their businesses are not taken within 24hours.
“Also, considering the fact that Nigeria is a huge market for a large number of South African companies and businesses.
“It will make some sense to immediately engage South Africa in a trade war by reviewing our import policies and imposing at least 30 per cent tariffs on all South African goods, and at the same time place new duties on target list of South African products.
“If these are done with immediate dispatch, the Federal government would have succeeded in proving to the whole world that it is capable of protecting her own where ever they may be found,” the statement concluded.
NAN reports that President Buhari on Tuesday has sent a special envoy to President Cyril Ramaphosa, to register his displeasure over the killings.
Buhari was deeply concerned about the “reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since Aug. 29.”
Buhari has “instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria and get a brief on the situation; express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and assurance of the safety of their lives and property.”