Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has described recent Xenophobic attacks by some irate South Africans against Nigerians and the burning of their shops as utterly reprehensible.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, the NLC said that such incidents were capable of undermining the illustrious bilateral relations between the government and people of Nigeria and the government and people of South Africa.
“We at the Nigeria Labour Congress condemn in strongest terms, the attacks on businesses and killings of Nigerians by South Africans in South Africa. These attacks and killings are beastly and unacceptable,” it said.
NLC said that the frequency and escalation of these attacks were not only reprehensible but may damage the cordial relations between both countries.
It said that it would hold the South African government squarely responsible for failing in its duty to protect or safeguard the lives and property of foreign nationals, especially Nigerians who have been subject of attacks over time.
“Accordingly, we demand an immediate end to these killings and destruction of properties.
“We demand for appropriate compensation and an assurance that this will never happen again not only to Nigerians but all foreign nationals in South Africa,” it said.
However, the NLC advised Nigerians against taking vengeful actions under the circumstances but to await the outcome of the intervention by the federal government, on the matter.
“However, as despicable as these attacks are, we will advise against crude retaliatory measures such as the burning down of perceived South African businesses in Nigeria, for in reality, some of those businesses are owned by Nigerians.
“We therefore appeal to Nigerians to leave this matter to the Nigerian government which has acted properly by despatching an envoy to South Africa to express its displeasure as well as table its demands,” the NLC said.