Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar on Tuesday say xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South-Africa it as a blot on common history of both countries.
Abubakar in a statement he issued in Abuja, described the attack as the most disturbing development in the turn of the century, stressing that Nigerians who live in the Republic of South Africa have consistently been victims of xenophobic violent attacks.
Abubakar, who was the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 elections, said that it was unfortunate that both countries had not done enough to reduce the spate of those attacks.
He advised both countries to explore available diplomatic measures as soon as possible to address the situation, while urging citizens of both countries to see themselves as one.
“Both Nigeria and South Africa share a history of brotherhood and camaraderie at different times in our difficult times and it is very important that we do not allow this ugly development to cause a blot in our shared history.
“While I will recommend that both countries press all available diplomatic buttons as fast as possible, it is equally important to impress on citizens from both sides to see ourselves as brothers and never as adversaries.
“True, the days of apartheid in South Africa and military rule in Nigeria are far behind us, we still both have a common enemy and that is in expanding the space for economic prosperity to a large range of our peoples.
”The new battle is economic in nature and it will be delusional for both Nigeria and South Africa to think that it is a battle we can win in isolation of each other. Neither and never can victory in the economic battle come by the way of turning daggers at each other,” he warned.
Abubakar said that the only path to success in the battle against poverty and lack of economic empowerment to the peoples would require Nigerians and South Africans to soldier on as brothers and sisters.
This according to him must involve governments from both ends to rework their bilateral trade agreements and statutes to respond to the realities of this time.
Abubakar called on Nigeria mission in South Africa to open its doors wide for all humanitarian support that could be required of them from Nigerian victims of these attacks.
“Also, it will be a good take off ground for solution to this problem for the South African government to cause a probe into the attacks and bring all perpetrators to book,” he said.