The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has opposed the proposed cultural exchange programme between Nigerian and South African youths to address xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and promote unity between the two countries. The President of NANS, Danielson Akpan, said this shortly after a closed door meeting and a news briefing by Mr Bobby Moroe, Acting High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, on Wednesday in Abuja.
The briefing was on cultural exchange programme between Nigeria and South Africa to foster unity between the two countries. Akpan said that the proposed exchange programme by the South African High Commission and the Federal Government for youths and students’ body would not work in view of the prevailing situation in South Africa.
”We do not need the proposed exchange programme; how do you carry out exchange programme in a place where you are not safe? “Our members, who are schooling in South Africa, have been calling us that they want to come back home.
He said attacks by South Africans on Nigerians and other nationals were unjustifiable and condemnable.
He called for concerted efforts by both governments to tackle the situation. According to him, molestation of Nigerians by South Africans is not justifiable, if they can burn Nigerians’ owned shops and businesses, while South African businesses thrive in Nigeria. “We have Multichoice, MTN, Shoprite and other South African companies numbering over 180 of them and we have not attacked any.
“Nigerians are also angry and we are humans, we cannot continue to keep quiet and watch our people being killed, why are they not allowing Nigerians to take laws into their hands?
“This has to stop; the proposed exchange programme by the South African High Commission and the Federal Government of Nigeria for youths and students’ body has failed,” he said. The meeting was organised by the high commission in collaboration with the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Global Peace Initiative (GPI) and Committee of Youth on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS) and National Association of Nigeria Students. NAN
Pix: NANS protesting the exchange programme