From Joshua Matthew, South Africa.
As federal lawmakers of the House of Representatives, led by House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, head for South Africa, Nigerian residents have put together a list of where they should go, who they should see, and what they should say while in the country.
South Africans in recent weeks have unleashed a series of xenophobic attacks on foreigners, especially Nigerians and other blacks.
Presidential Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri and the Senate have hinted at retaliatory measures against South Africa and its interests in Nigeria.
One of those interests, mobile telecoms giant, MTN, had its prime customers relations office in Asokoro attacked, while a group of Niger Delta militants threatened fire and brimstone against South African outlets in the country.
But Tuesday, residents advised visiting lawmakers to ensure they meet opposition figure, Julius Malema, because of seeming positive comments he had made about Nigeria and Nigerians in the past.
He was quoted as saying: ” I am like a Nigerian to the white people. By the way Nigerians speak, they sound as if they are rude but actually they are not rude, but emphatic. Nigerians are people who know what they want.”
Other suggestions they gave on the proposed visit are:
● Their visit shouldn’t be to President Jacob Zuma and his ANC led administration. It should not be a visit to the South African establishment.
●Our legislators should visit and be allowed to address the parliament at Cape Town. In the parliament, different political parties are represented.
●At the parliament, they should give a historic and factual address about Nigeria’s role in th struggle to end apartheid.
●They should register their anger, frustration and disappointment at the xenophobic attacks on all foreigners, especially Nigerians and other Africans.
●At the Parliament, there are opposition parties like DA and EFF who will amplify their lament and voice.
●They should pay a courtesy visit to President Zuma’s main opposition leader, Julius Malema who was once quoted saying, “I am like a Nigerian to the white people. By the way Nigerians speak, they sound as if they are rude but actually they are not rude, but emphatic. Nigerians are people who know what they want.
●They should visit and address Nigerians at the Nigerian Consulate. They should hear Nigerians as they express their plight. They should caution Nigerians to be good ambassadors in South Africa.
● They must tell those on illegal stay without visa to return home to Nigeria. ●
●They should encourage rich business Nigerians to also remember to invest at home.