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Xenophobia: Nigeria, South Africa, others sign peace accord

Xenophobia: Nigeria, South Africa, others sign peace accord

REPRESENTATIVES of Nigeria, South Africa and other citizens and groups in other parts of Africa yesterday signed a peace accord to begin a process leading to a non-violent means of settling differences and discouraging xenophobia in South Africa.

The peace deal, which was initiated by Nigerians In Diaspora Integration Agency (NIDIA), was signed in Abuja with the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Lulul Louis Mnguni as observer.

According to the President-General, NIDIA, Ms Caro Nwosu, who signed for Nigeria, there is no alternative to peace through non-violent dialogue to foster unity in the continent. She voted for stakeholders’ efforts to wipe-out xenophobia in South Africa.

Ms. Nwosu, who also presented a letter to Ambassador Mnguni en route South African President, Jacob Zuma, expressed concern that the xenophobic attacks were threatening the hard-fought freedom, democracy and peace not only in South Africa but in Africa as a whole.

Her words: “We are here to show our love and concern of what is happening in the continent. We in the Diaspora are of great concern to what is happening in South Africa by derailment of peace through violence extremism.

“We stood tall and united in time of peace and all these years and that is why our heart bleeds for what is happening.”

Ms. Nwosu insisted that there is no alternative to non-violence, which according to her, remained the only way to re-establish a broken community and implement the just law by appealing to the conscience of the great decent majority who through blindness, fear, pride, and irrationality have allowed their conscience to sleep.

The NIDIA noted that on the contrary, violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral, and brings only momentary results.

She said: “Nations have frequently won their independence in battle. But in spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones. Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all.

“It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brother hood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.”

Proffering a path for peace and unity in Africa, Ms. Nwosu suggested that massive enlightenment must ensue; African leaders must step-in to enlighten Africans, especially the ignorant and illiterate population about unity and peaceful co-existence among Africans, with the central theme of equality and oneness.

In the NIDIA presented to Zuma, they recommended amongst other things; mass population re-orientation by various means, deliberate government renunciation of hate speeches by political and traditional leaders and development of controls of social media at crisis periods.

Reminding her audience that Africa was built on the foundations of tolerance and solidarity, she said every African should uphold the African dream of unity in diversity and stay strong, peaceful, and united despite the bitter challenges facing the continent today.

Ambassador Mnguni gave further assurances that the xenophobic attacks will be quelled and called for unity.

His words: “In as much as we are concerned we are being strengthened by being together. That is why we are here today to ensure that we are united together to emphasize on peace through dialogue.

“This is what Nelson Mandela emphasized that despite that he spent almost three decades in prison, he still embraced peace. So I say to you, we will remove xenophobia and any other form of oppression from the face of the earth.”

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