The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to put modalities in place to evacuate Nigerians in South Africa, following the xenophobic attacks.
The TUC spoke against the attack in a statement sign by its President, Bobboi Kaigama, and General-Secretary, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, in Lagos on Monday.
The two officials described the anger of South Africans as misplaced, noting that those found culpable should be punished.
They also said that the South Africans had no justification for attacking Africans, adding that out of about 2.3 million immigrants living in their country, only 1.6 million were Africans.
They said: “Africans are engaged in small shops, vending and service industries. The whites control about 8.7 per cent of the population and control over 85 per cent wealth.”
The union commended the role Nigeria played in the 1980s toward the dismantling of apartheid.
They said: “It is on record that thousands of South African children were brought to Nigeria, distributed across all the unity schools, fed and housed free, they were received with open arms.
“How come South African youths miss this history and Nigerians have become objects for destruction in modern day South Africa.”
Kaigama and Ozigi also described as regrettable that Africans killed fellow Africans under the watch of security officials; even when African immigrants neither owned lands ran companies nor owned mining companies.
The union said it was worrisome that South Africans saw fellow Africans as competitors, rather than a fellow compatriots looking for a greener pasture.
They lamented: “We feel pained that in spite the apparent position, the attitude of President Jacob Zuma-led administration to investigate and punish those involved in accordance with the law of the land is sad.
“Over the years, nothing has been done. It is unfortunate that South Africa has forgotten how Nigeria and the rest of the world rallied and mobilised support for that country during its apartheid experience.”
The TUC said that in Nigeria, South Africans had over 100 companies involved in anti-labour practices, yet, they were not shut or killed.
The union urged the African Union and United Nations to caution South Africans and let them know that no individuals or country had the monopoly of violence.
It also advised High Commissioner to intervene warning that further killing might lead to a major crisis.
They own several multi-billion dollar investments in Nigeria. We co-exist in spite of all odds. This killing and duhumanisation of Nigerians must stop, not anymore.
TUC said: “If killing and maiming of Nigerians is the sacrifice required for both countries to maintain a cordial relationship, we are not willing to make it anymore.”