Xenophobia: Nigeria To Commence Evacuation Wednesday – NICASA

THE evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa will commence on Wednesday, it has been learnt.

Air
Peace has made an offer to airlift those who are willing to return home
following the recent attacks on Nigerians and their businesses by South
African.

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Prince Ben Okoli, president, Nigeria Citizens
Association, South Africa (NICASA) said all efforts are geared towards
evacuation of those who are ready to come back home.

Though he
was unable to put figure to the number of affected Nigerians, Okoli
however said the figure is in hundreds as many have lost their means of
livelihood and nothing to fall back to.

The association, he said
is however still pushing ahead for the demand of compensation as there
are sufficient available to them that the attacks were premeditated and
orchestrate.

He also noted that normalcy is gradually returning,
there is no longer tension, or violence against any set of people. The
violence and hostility have ceased.

“So many Nigerian have been
affected by this and lots have been highly distressed and nothing to
fall back to. So some of them affected have decided to call it quit to
go back to Nigeria.

“Presently, we are collating the data of
Nigerians that are to be evacuated back to Nigeria because the first
batch will be leaving sometime early next week.

“Well we have it on a good record that they will be leaving on Wednesday.”

On
compensation, he said that the South African Government has remained
adamant, they have not acknowledge it as xenophobia. They continue to
call it criminality and we do not understand why they continue to push
the narrative of criminality since it is very obvious and plain and
simple for even illustrates to understand that this is purely
xenophobic. So in the area of compensation, like their President had
said that they are not going to give compensation but we are going to
push for that because we have a good ground for compensation because
these attacks against our people were uncalled for and totally
unprovoked. We look at it as an attack that as something that was
orchestrated, we are not actually pointing a figure at an individual or a
group but of complicity. Those are the areas that our legal advisers
are looking at.”

He maintained that the union was going to see
the agitation for compensation to its logical conclusion as the people
have worked very hard to establish themselves and suddenly, their hard
work for sixteen to eighteen years destroyed overnight and that is
something that is not acceptable to us as a community.”

On role
of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s special envoy, Okoli said they have
been able to boost the moral of the Nigerian community in going about
their normal business without fear of molestation or attacks.

We
have actually regained some strength knowing that our government is
backing and supporting us, especially this time. So we are no longer
afraid because we believe that so long we are doing the right thing and
legal and food standing we have nothing to fear.

We want to thank
President Buhari for the steps he has taken. The special envoy did cone
to us and push the case of Nigerians. We are very grateful and that k
him for what he has done so far.

He also commended the gesture of the Management of Air Peace for offering to airlift Nigerians back home.

Also an Abuja based lawyer, Dr. Kayode Ajulo has offered to provide legal services should his assistance be needed.

He said as a nation, this ugly incident must not be allowed to repeat itself again.

“The
unfortunate xenophobic is a fallout of the calamity that befalls the
third world, particularly the old colonies of colonial masters. I’ve
said it before, we need to be compensated, for the pillage not only of
our resources but our brains, knowledge, attitude, altitudes, culture
and values. It’s why we hate ourselves, we attack and killed ourselves
because we’ve being programs to such, anything African and black is
abhor. Don’t you see the way some bleached their skins.

On a
serious note Xenophobic attacks in South Africa stems from the
standpoint of misplaced anger, hatred on the part of South Africans
towards other Africans most especially Nigerians. It is sad and
appalling that South Africans failed to advert their minds to their not
too long history of apartheid for which Nigerian played a key role in
ending.

“This unexpected behaviour cannot be justified in the
face of unprovoked attacks that Nigerians received lately in the hands
of their South African counterparts. These attacks must be condemned in
its entirety because it is not reflective of the true spirit of Africa.

“This
is selfish, non-Pan African and barbaric. The attacks are capable of
having a spill-over effect on the Africa Continental Free Trade
Agreement which is in force between 27 African Union member states.
Hostilities between the two biggest economies Africa are capable of
causing this. Data at present has shown that South Africa is one of
Nigeria’s top five export destinations as the country exported goods
with total value of ¦ 325.5 billion within the period. Currently over
$60 billion trade volume has been affected drastically within few days
of the Xenophobic attack.

“We must not allow this to happen again.

“I
urge the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN to
immediately start legal action against the South Africa, predicated on
Nigeria’s ratification of the protocol to the African charter on Human
and People’s Rights on the establishment of and African Court on Human
and Peoples’ Right which was signed on May 29, 2004.

“The mandate
of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Right is to monitor respect
for human rights on the African continent in line with the instruments.
It is elementary principle of international law that a state is entitled
to protect its subjects, when injured by acts contrary to international
law committed by another state, from whom they have been unable to
obtain diplomatic action or international judicial proceedings on behalf
of its citizens.

“Thus the Federal Government must toll the path
of law and order to protect the rights of Nigerian Citizens in South
Africa affected by the Xenophobic attacks in order to get justice for
the gruesome violation of their fundamental rights in South Africa.

“The
court is empowered to hear cases brought against African states for
failure to respect human rights. It is able to issue binding judgments
in such cases and where violations are found, may award compensation and
other remedies to victims.

“While it suffices to commend the
court on its various decisions ranging from its declaration that the
mass deportation of hundreds of Gambians workers by Angola was a
violation of their rights to freedom of movement, liberty and right not
to be treated in an inhuman and degrading way to its decision that the
detention incommunicado without trial of at least 11 journalists by
Eritrea was a violation of the journalists’ right to freedom of
expression, right to liberty and fair trial, however, it is quiet sad
that despite the well-considered decisions of the court, some
member-states have refused to comply with the decisions of the court.
Well I hope the reverse will be the case in the instance.

“I must also add that this’s a case that I’ll be available if my service is sought to do pro bono poblico.”

Source:- Thenationonlineng

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