We're not drug barons, Nigerians in S’Africa fire back *Demand apology for 'baseless' labelling

By Ben-Benson Okoli, Executive Editor, Johannesburg on 14/03/2019

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Anger has risen within the Nigerian community in South Africa, for being labelled the drug haven of the country, with the demand for immediate apology and withdrawal of the appellation.

At the receiving end is the Premier of Gauteng Province, Hon David Makura, who reportedly made the comment that most of the drug rings in his province were being operated by Nigerians.

But in a sharp reaction to the damaging comments, the Secretary of the Nigerian Citizens Association of South Africa (NICASA), Rev Dr SJ Ubah described the comments as “ill-conceived and parochial.”

In a statement by the Nigeria apex group, in the country, the renowned cleric, said the comment was capable of exposing the nationals to danger, as it could set Nigerians up for attack. “The inciting comments as these, would set Nigerians up for possible xenophobic and targeted attacks,” the statement, said.

Ubah, wanted the Premier of the province with the largest concentration of Nigerians, to be reminded of the many positive contributions Nigerians were making towards the socio-economic development of the province, adding that there were visible presence of Nigerians in “areas of academics, sciences, medicine and other professional disciplines and businesses.”

He noted how the association was steering Nigerians along the path of productive and responsible citizenship, which according to him, had continued to yield a lot of dividends, wondering why the Premier was unable to capture any of such positive contributions.

He said: “Nigerians are industrious people, who believe in the peaceful co-existence with their host, which can be attested. The behaviour and utterances of the Premier, is not just objectionable, it is annoying. The statistics Hon Makura peddled is unfounded and we take exceptions to it. We demanded an immediate retraction of the comments by Hon Makura, followed by an apology to the Nigerian Government and our community in South Africa.”

Reiterating that Nigeria and South Africa shared a history of brotherly relations that must be treasured, he noted that such damaging remarks was capable of straining such relations, while urging institutions like the African National Congress (ANC) not to be silent about the development.

Ubah, who told Whirlwindnews.com, that the Premier’s comments were “greatly damaging and disturbing,” added the association was engaging with the Nigeria Mission and the Consulate on the appropriate remedy.

“We would like to see our government step up pressure on the South African government, in view of the many imbalances in their relations. But for now, we call on all branches and Nigerians to remain law abiding and to go about their businesses peacefully,” he said.

 

Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on March, 14 2019

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