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FG to compensate Nigerian victims of xenophobic attacks, Obanikoro assures

By News Express on 21/04/2015

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Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, is hopeful that citizens affected by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa will be compensated.

Since the renewed attacks started last week, several Nigerians have lost their businesses and other belongings to fire set by locals on buildings where their businesses were housed.

Senator Obanikoro said that Nigerian High Commissioner, Martin Cobham and other delegations were taking stock of damages done to Nigerians to ensure that adequate compensation would be given to them.

“We have situations where some of our people lost their shops in this attack.

“We are taking stock of the damages done to them and we are going to be engaging the South African Government,” senator Obanikoro said.

He stated that the South African government had been exploring different avenues to end the attacks that have claimed several lives in KwaZulu-Natal province.

“One of the major stakeholders, who incited the South African community, has called for a meeting this morning where some representatives of the affected countries would be addressed.

“Some traditional rulers will be there to see how they can douse the situation and ensure the safety of Nigerians and other nationals in South Africa.

“This is a very shameful situation and it has attracted a lot of international outcry.

“I think the leaders have seen the need to ensure that the xenophobic attacks do not escalate.

“The attitude is now more promising and within the next few days we should be able to put this behind us.

“We are working on how best we can get a lasting solution to the problem,” Obanikoro said.

He further pointed out that the South African situation had presented the continent an opportunity to tackle similar issues in other countries, even in West Africa.

“This kind of attacks are not only limited to South Africa. We are aware that we have incidences like this in other West African countries. It is a golden opportunity to holistically look at it and see how we can put an end to it.”

The Minister further urged Nigerians to remain calm even in the face of the situation, addressing suggestions that South African businesses in Nigeria should be grounded.

“It is an international situation and to localise it will be unfortunate and it will not yield the desired result.

“Two wrongs do not make a right. I think Nigeria should rise above sentiments that there should be a reprisal. The way we have conducted ourselves is the best.

“The leadership role that we are playing in Africa should be sustained. The best way to do that is to find the best way out of the situation that we are now.

“Nigerians should remain calm even in the face of the situation that we are faced with.

“We are brothers and sisters and the best is to find a way out of our challenges rather than deepen it,” he said, assuring Nigerians that the government is making serious attempt to ensure that the issue is properly mitigated.

Obanikoro also said that such approach was adopted in the best interest of Nigerians to guard against unnecessary dislocation within families.

A meeting between traditional rulers, religious, community leaders and other stakeholders will hold on Monday in South Africa, as the government is exploring all avenues to put an end to the xenophobic attack.

•Text courtesy of Channels TV. Photo shows Obanikoro

Source News Express

Posted 21/04/2015 04:33:13 AM


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