A political activist and former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has called on the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, to urgently halt attacks against Nigerians and the wanton destruction of their property by rampaging citizens of that country.
While demanding an immediate stop to the bloodletting against innocent Nigerians, he called on the South African Government to commence the payment of adequate and commensurate compensation to the victims of the dastardly and unprovoked acts of aggression without delay.
Frank’s position was contained in a statement he signed and made available to Akelicious on Wednesday.
“On behalf of Nigerians, we plead with the South African government, its youths and the entire citizens to put a stop to the wanton killing of Nigerians and destruction of their property by irate South Africans and instead fashion out ways on how Nigerians and other African countries resident in your country can live together in peace and harmony.
“We agree completely with what Julius Malema said and I quote: “South Africa is Nigeria and Nigeria is South Africa.” Therefore, let’s live in unity.
“May we also remind our South African brothers and sisters that Africa is one indivisible continent and that most African countries especially in West Africa and Nigeria in particular, helped South Africa to fight their subjugation under apartheid by generously supporting them financially, materially and otherwise until they attained the abolishment of racial segregation.
“It was not only the right thing to do but was done because Nigeria regards South Africans as our brothers and sisters.
“We urge South African youths to emulate the late icon, Nelson Mandela, who was always for peace and even forgave those that imprisoned him for 27 years. Mandela preached peace, love, and forgiveness during his lifetime.
“We, therefore, encourage the youths to give peace a chance and allow Nigerians and other Africans resident in their country to live in harmony in the spirit of African oneness,” he said.
He urged the South African authorities to urgently evolve both legal and policy instruments to permanently stop these acts of belligerence and open aggression against Nigerians.
He also called on the leadership of the African Union (AU) to intervene and prevent needless hostilities between Nigeria and South Africa which may result if the prolonged attacks against Nigerians and their interests in the former apartheid enclave is not urgently halted.
“It is time for the AU to walk the talk by invoking the necessary sections of its charter to stop this orgy of degradation and dehumanization against Nigerians.
“The AU must prove its relevance by acting swiftly. They cannot afford to obfuscate by mouthing words while shying away from addressing the pogrom and genocide against innocent Nigerians legally residing in South Africa at this time.
“They must act to prevent this unprovoked aggression from snowballing into unimaginable proportions on both sides. A stitch in time would save nine at this trying moment,” he said.
Frank in a statement in Abuja further disclosed that he already had discussions with one of the leaders of opposition political parties in South Africa, Julius Malema, over the imbroglio and said that he would soon visit him to strategize on how to permanently end the hate induced violence against Nigerians in South Africa.
“It is most unfortunate that Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and his ‘yahoo yahoo’ administration is clueless on how to protect Nigerians from this horrendous xenophobic onslaught against hapless citizens.
“Since they are presently busy organizing worthless press conferences, I took the initiative and spoke with Julius Malema, one of the most respected voices in South Africa, and urged him to prevail on his people to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign.
“I will be going to South Africa soon to visit Malema in order to evolve strategies and actions that would end this inhumanity being meted on innocent Nigerians by South Africans once and for all,” he said.
He pleaded with Nigerians back home to exercise restraint in the face of these grievous acts of provocation emanating from South Africa.
“If the South Africans are exhibiting madness, we must maintain our sanity by not attacking businesses owned by Nigerians here but operating under franchises owned by South Africans.
“It is unfortunate that most business outlets now suffering reprisals in the country are 100 per cent owned by Nigerians operating under franchise.
“Therefore any loss of lives or destruction of businesses in Nigeria in reaction to what is happening in South Africa would amount to double jeopardy for Nigeria,” he said.
The political activist commiserated with families that have lost loved ones in the fracas.
He also sympathized with Nigerians who have sustained injuries, lost property or businesses as a result of the attacks and urged them not to take laws into their hands but to allow justice to prevail.