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Xenophobia : Zuma seeks end to killing of Nigerians


•South African leader urges stronger ties with Nigeria

South African President Jacob Zuma has condemned the xenophobic attack on Nigerians residing in South Africa.

Zuma, who spoke in Owerri, the Imo State capital, during a two-day private visit, said: “A South African must not kill a Nigerian and a Nigerian must also not kill a South African.”

He argued that the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa as the largest economies on the continent should be stronger than any other for the sake of the African sub region.

He said: “Every country in Africa should unite as a people to fight for the common course of economic and political emancipation of Africa.”

Zuma stressed that Africans are one people divided by colonial borders.

According to him, “Africans must come together to address African problems. We are the same people. We cannot succeed if we handle problems as individuals. We need to recognise that we are one.”

Zuma, who spoke after he was honoured with Imo Merit Award and after signing of MoU between his education foundation and Rochas Foundation, said: “Nigeria is a country among countries in the continent of Africa and globally. What Nigeria says you must note determines the lots of many.”

He added: “I am an ordinary freedom fighter belonging to the African National Congress (ANC). But in 1994, I felt I have been part of those who have made oppressed people of South Africa to accomplish an important mission of liberating themselves. But political freedom without economic freedom is not enough freedom. That is why in our era, we have a government that will begin to make economic laws, because if the economic power is not there, there is very little you can do for the poor and the oppressed.”

The South African president added that he was passionate about the school established by the governor and saw the children from all over Africa.

Zuma emphasised that African continent needs more than political freedom to develop and be at par with other continents of the world.

He noted that the gap in the development index between Africa and the West was created by the colonialists, who plundered the region’s resources.

Decorating the visiting President with the Imo Merit Award, Okorocha stated: “This afternoon, I speak with mixed emotions for a great son of this land Africa, who has toiled and who has been directed by God all his life to get to the point where he is today. To some people, he’s a dogged fighter, to most people in South Africa, he is a freedom fighter and to me, one of the reasons I present this accolade is that he remains one of the most misunderstood persons in Africa.”