By Ismaeel Uthman
The need for a strong and positive relationship between Nigeria and South-Africa has been emphasised if the continent of Africa is to get out of the shackles of poverty and underdevelopment.
Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola and the Consul General of the Republic of South Africa to Nigeria, Mr. Darkey Africa made the submission when the later paid a courtesy visit on the former at the government house in Osogbo on Tuesday.
Aregbesola stressed that Africa will not be developed if Nigeria and South-Africa do not find a means to collaborate and organise the development of the lake regions of the continent for development which is key to the growth of Africa.
The governor who explained that what Africa needs to grow is embedded in the lake regions of Africa, stated that both countries owe it an historic duty to free the black from the underdeveloped nature which it has found itself.
While expressing the willingness of Osun and the entire country to give South-Africa all the needed cooperation on economic relationship, the governor said both countries need to put more energy on strengthening the human relationship because it is the springboard to others.
According to him, “The relationship between Nigeria and South-Africa should not be based on economic ties alone, the truth is that we share deeper relationship. Nigeria and Nigerians see South-Africa beyond the trade and economic ties. It can come but it should not be the priority.
“Africa will not develop if both countries do not collaborate to organize the lake regions of Africa for development, we share a deep bond and responsibility to develop Africa together.
“If we don’t come together to develop this great continent of ours then we are sentencing Africa and the blacks all over the world to many years of suffering and backwardness.
While speaking on the persecution of Nigerians in South-Africa, Aregbesola stressed that the trend should not be encouraged any further as blacks all over the world is supposed to be seen as one.
“Even if they have criminal tendencies, the normal thing is for them to be punished through the legal means instead being made to pass through jungle justice which as far as am concerned is a slap on our continent”, the governor stressed.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Darkey Africa explained that while the government of South-Africa is willing to boost economic ties with Osun and Nigeria as a whole, the country is also taking the development of human relationships seriously.
Mr Darkey who said Nigeria and South-Africa remains key to the development of the African continent expressed disappointment that the xenophobic attacks in South-Africa is being generalised.
He stated further that the government of South-Africa is taking steps and doing everything possible to stop it for the growth of human relationship among Africans.
The South-African envoy then highlighted sectors such as tourism, agriculture, Infrastructure, energy, manufacturing as areas they would like to partner Osun and Nigeria as large in for growth and development.