By Daud Olatunji
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Monday wrote President of the Inkatha Freedom Party, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, condemning the xenophobic attacks on foreign citizens in South Africa.
Obasanjo said that “for any African country to encourage or allow or not seriously sanction xenophobia against Africans in their country, it is a great disservice not only to the country where xenophobia takes place and the countries of the victims concerned, but also a great disservice to the whole of Africa and black race.
In his advice, the former President urged the affected countries to table appropriate motions at the African Union (AU) and consider other measures if the situation is allowed to continue.
The former President declared that there was “need for fence-mending, reconciliation, and wound-binding between South Africa and the countries whose citizens have been victims of xenophobia and Afrophobia in South Africa.
“As a suggestion, South Africa should send emissaries to the countries concerned to explain, apologize and agree on the way forward for mutual understanding, accommodation, reconciliation, and binding the wound to promote unity, concord, and brotherhood in Africa.
“Repatriation of Nigerians from South Africa is obviously not a permanent solution. At best it is palliative. But the hurt will still remain for some time. Neither is revenge a desirable solution.
“Mutual understanding and acknowledgment 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 well particularly in this era of Africa Continental Free Trade Area opportunities.
“Nigeria and South Africa must stand together to champion African cause and to jointly shepherd African development, unity, cooperation, security, and progress to make the 21st century Africa’s century.”