Henry Umoru – Abuja
DISTURBED by the wave of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has taken the matter to the October Session of the International Parliament for Tolerance and Peace, (IPTP) holding in Ethiopia.
Speaking on Monday at the opening plenary of the parliament in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, Ekweremadu, who chairs the Legal and Legislative Affairs Committee of the IPTP, urged the Parliament to pay special attention to the problem of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In a statement issued by his Media Aide, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said: “Since we are holding this session in Africa, permit me to mention the issue of xenophobia, a development that worries me. There is a growing trend in acts and incidences of intolerance, which is destroying the brotherhood, peace, and mutual relationship among the people of Africa. As a special Parliament focusing on tolerance and peace, we will not close our eyes to the cases of xenophobia wherever it exists.
“I also appeal to our brothers and sisters in Africa to not only continue to tolerate but to also respectfully accept one another as one people with a common destiny.”
The former Speaker of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, however, commended the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Ahmed Abiy, not only for his efforts at promoting tolerance and peace in the East African nation but also for ending Ethiopia’s 20-year hostilities with Eritrea.
He added: “It is instructive that the efforts of this Government to engender peace was recently recorgnised with the bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize on His Excellency, Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, for driving the deal that ended the nearly 20-year old border hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
“Congratulations to him and the people of Ethiopia on this heart-lifting accomplishment. I hope that our presence and work here will help to reinforce the Ethiopian Government’s policy of preaching and working for tolerance with its neighbours, which is yielding peace.
“I also hope that the Prime Minister’s vision of tolerance and peace will transcend the East African region and impact the rest of Africa. And it is my hope that other leaders will emulate his exemplary leadership.”