The killing of Nigerians by South Africans in South Africa otherwise known as xenophobia has received a huge condemnation must from President Jacob Zuma.
The high rate of killings has been very worrisome. Just last week, two Nigerians were allegedly killed by South African police. Five Nigerians who sustained injuries in the attack were still in the hospital as of Friday.
Speaking in Owerri, Imo state capital, during a two-day working visit, Zuma said Africans need to unite.
“A South African must not kill a Nigerian and a Nigerian must also not kill a South African,” he said.
“Every country in Africa should unite as a people to fight for the common course of economic and political emancipation of Africa.
“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.
“Nigeria is a country among countries in the continent of Africa and globally. What Nigeria says you must note determines the lots of many.”
Describing himself as an “ordinary freedom fighter”, Zuma said he made his people realise the importance of liberation.
He said Africa needs more than political freedom to develop and be at par with other continents of the world.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
On his part, Okorocha described Zuma as great African son, saying he has been misunderstood.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Zuma had a warm reception in Nigeria, even though a statue erected in his honour sparked a controversy, especially on social media.
He was conferred with a chieftaincy title – Ochiagha di oha mma of Igbo land – while a street named after him.