Nigerian billionaire and Chairman of United Bank of Africa, Tony Elumelu, has spoken against the latest wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Writing on Instagram earlier today, the businessman and philanthropist strongly denounced the attacks and called for the unity of Africa.
According to him, it was appalling to read about and watch videos of the senseless violence which he described as barbaric, despicable, and pure madness. He then called out South Africans for the violence, stressing that killing foreigners whilst “looting and destroying their means of livelihood is evil and un-African and it dehumanizes us all.”
Elumelu went further to clarify that Africans are not each other’s problem. Instead, Africa’s common enemy is poverty and in view of this, Africans must desist from fighting each other and focus on collectively fighting the extreme poverty ravaging the continent.
He also reiterated his belief in Africa and Africans, explaining that this belief has been the underlining factor in every business decision he has ever made, including the decision to empower African entrepreneurs through his Tony Elumelu Foundation.
“Let’s not lose sight of our shared destiny. It is only together we can face our common enemy – poverty. We need to stop attacking each other but rather embrace one and work together to uplift our content and be our brother’s and sister’s protectors wherever we may find ourselves. This is the only way to our economic liberation and prosperity. We must say no to barbarism and savagery.”
The Backstory: Elumelu’s reaction is coming days after a fresh wave of xenophobic attacks rocked some South African cities, leaving scores either dead or injured and many foreign-owned shops looted and torched. Meanwhile, last night, there were reported incidents of reprisal attacks on some South African companies in Nigeria. Companies like MTN Nigeria, Shoprite, and DSTV have remained targets.