While speaking in an exclusive chat with Daily Sun on Wednesday, the spokesman of the Nigeria Union in South Africa, Emeka Ezinteje, has blamed hostility against Nigerians in the former apartheid enclave on ignorance and misinformation being peddled by the country’s media.
According to Emeka, the media owned by some powerful South Africans create erroneous impression that every Nigerian is a criminal, while ignoring Nigerians’ contributions to South Africa’s economy.
Speaking on the heels of renewed attack on Nigerian nationals who pursued their genuine businesses in the country, Emeka called on the South African Government to bring the culprits to book, and also urged that any Nigerian arrested for any offence should be charged to court instead of resorting to extra-judicial killing and police brutality as if life was worthless.
“I blame the South African media for the whole thing. The media are owned by some powerful elements. They talk about criminality as if every Nigerian is a criminal. They create the impression that Nigerians are criminals; shielding the ordinary South African from knowing the contributions of Nigerians to their economy.
“It ends up creating that negative impression in the mind of the ordinary citizen. That’s why it seems that there is a lot of hatred. But I say that it is ignorance that makes them feel threatened; and also feel that Nigerians are not contributing positively to their economy or growth,” he stated.
The Federal Government has called on the South African Government to take decisive measures to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans in the country.
No fewer than 116 Nigerians have lost their lives in South Africa through extra-judicial means in the last two years.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who made this disclosure, noted that seven in 10 of the killings were carried out by the South African police.