Please, don’t go, South Africa community tells Nigerians
“They have told us not to worry about the quit notice but we are worried that it was given in the first place”, Oby Okezie, a Nigerian woman resident in South Africa told our reporter in Lagos. Ms Okezie who is in Nigeria briefly said many South Africans ordinarily would not want Nigerians to leave their country, adding that it is just a few of them that stir up trouble and make it look like Nigerians are at war with Jacob Zuma’s people.
Recall that the Kuruman community in Northern Cape Province of South Africa, gave Nigerians June 16 deadline to leave their community and country. The community had alleged that Nigerians were responsible for some social vices such as drugs and prostitution and wants them to quit their area to avoid giving them a bad name.
However, Ms Okezie admitted that some Nigerians just like persons of other nationalities including South Africans may have been engaging in drugs dealings and other criminal activities. She added that this was not enough to single out Nigerians for eviction. She added that the Nigerian leaders in South Africa have been able to douse the tension by brokering peace and accord with the locals.
Ahead of the expiration of the deadline, the Nigeria Union, South Africa confirmed it had agreed a peace deal with Kuruman community on the quit notice given to Nigerians.
Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, President of the union said the deal was brokered after a peace meeting.
Anyene said the meeting was held with the police, community leaders and officials of the Nigerian High Commission.
“The leadership of the union in company of Mr A. K Balogun, a senior official of the Nigeria High Commission, held a meeting with the Kuruman Police Cluster, Municipal officials, Home Affairs and Community Police Forum (CPF).
“Others who attended the meeting are representatives of the Nigerian Community in Kuruman and other community based organisations.
“At the end of the meeting, it was resolved that communities will work together with the police to root out crime no matter the nationality,” he said.
Anyene said that the meeting also resolved that Nigeria Union officers in Kuruman would work with civil organisations and CPF to check crime in the area.
“It was also agreed that crime will no longer be tolerated in the community, while jungle justice should stop,” he said.
The president said that Kuruman ward officials of the union had already been invited to a meeting with CPF scheduled for July 13.
File photo: anti-Xenophobia protest