ATABOR JULIUS LOKOJA.
ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), a non-governmental organisation working on human rights and social justice has condemned the xenophobic attack going on in South Africa and called on African Union member Governments to decisive action to arrest the ugly trend.
Fielding questions from Journalists over the weekend, the Country Director, Ene Obi decried the high rate of nemployment, poverty, widening gap between the rich and the poor urging African goverments to place premium on the investment on human capital development as panacea for reoccurring attacks.
According to Ene Obi “As an anti-poverty organisation, we are concerned about the situation and how it undermines Africa’s socio economic and political integration which is needed to fight poverty on the continent.
” For instance, the Africa Free Trade Agreement that envisages an African market without borders, provides for exchange of technology, sustainable development models among others may not yield the desired result.
” And these reprisals if not curtailed quickly will undermine efforts at building an integrated economic power that is able to compete and negotiate with regional blocs such as the European Union” She warned.
The Country Director explained that the World Data Lab, indicates that 1 in 3 Africans translating to 422 million people that lives below poverty line and represents 70% of the world’s poorest people.
She advised that the fight against poverty in Africa requires a united policy front between African governments and a strong relationship between and within the people on the continent to avoid disunity among the member nations.
She called on all African Governments and the African Union to develop and build the mutual trust among its member countries that is required to move the continent forward.
She charged the Media Practitioners to be objective and to avoid airing and publishing messages that can triggers violence saying if the video that purportedly led to the attack was fact checked , it would have been averted.
She called on Nigerians to be calm, law abiding,and to avoid hate speeches saying that reprisal would not be the right solution to the crisis.