The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing Worldwide has defended Igbo people from allegations leveled by yoruba activist and president of conservative Young Yoruba for Freedom (YYF) Adeyinka Grandson, against the community in South Africa.
The Igbo apex socio-cultural youth group regretted the statement credited to Adeyinka Grandson for ascribing the blame for xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa to Igbo immigrants in the country, saying the statement was unpatriotic.
In statement by the group’s president, Mr Arthur Obiora, while reacting to the controversial comment made by Grandson for indicting Igbo youths in South Africa for the developments going on in that country.
“These few weeks ago, the South African Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia came under attack by Zambian citizens. They were protesting the xenophobic attacks by South Africans against Zambian nationals. About a month also, it was Tanzanians who descended on businesses with known South African interests operating in Tanzania,” the statement reads.
‘’At another time it was Mozambique nationals protesting South Africans killings Mozambicans, while Zimbabweans were next to follow.
‘’The list of other black African nations suffering the same fate in the hands of South Africans is long.
“Just last week, it was Nigerians registering their displeasure against businesses of South African origin operating in Nigeria because of the wanton killings of Nigerians living in South African by South Africans.
‘’No matter how one wants to look at it, South Africans have been adjudged guilty of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals living in their country.
‘’Nigerians have unfortunately been worst hit, perhaps more than any other country’s nationals living in South Africa.
‘’This is a tragedy of enormous proportions given the gruesome dimensions of the killings and maiming, the attendant loss of property and livelihood and the entire pathetic humanitarian conditions left in the wake of these xenophobic destruction.
‘’This is certainly a cause for bitterness and regret amongst Nigerians especially given what Nigeria invested in human, material and finances in the liberation of South Africa from the stranglehold of Apartheid.
‘’It calls for condemnation of South Africa and calls for sanctions and possible embargoes on South African businesses, services and interests in Nigeria. It is a time for sober reflection on our relationship with South Africa going forward.
‘’It should certainly be silly for some misguided Nigerians to recklessly tribalise and trivialize a national tragedy such as Grandson, an obviously disturbed and possibly deranged young man has recently done.
‘’It is a settled matter that every ethnic nationality in our country has its bad elements and of course its good.’’
While calling for a unifying front in the face of attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, he said ‘’it is uncharitable to brand the Igbo tribe with the brush of its few bad elements,’’ Obiora stated.