PROFESSOR PETER F. OMOLUABI
DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY
UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS
LAGOS, NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION
Xenophobia is a multidimensional and multifaceted concept that cuts across many disciplines like Psychopathology, Social Psychology, Psychobiology, Sociology, Anthropology, Race & Racism, Nationalism, Human Geography, History, International Relations, Law, Economics and others. Each of these disciplines has its own special perspective on xenophobia. The aim of this chapter is to focus on the psychological perspective of xenophobia. The chapter will also examine those areas where the psychological perspective overlaps with the perspectives of some of these other disciplines.
This chapter will therefore be devoted to highlighting the psychological concepts, characteristics, theories, causes, effects, assessment, clinical management and prevention of xenophobia. The policy implication of studying xenophobia will also receive attention.

CONCEPTS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF XENOPHOBIA
Concepts and Characteristics of Phobia
To fully understand the concept and context of xenophobia, there is a need to explain the concept of phobia of which xenophobia is a subcategory. Ullmann and Krasner (1975) described phobia as an intense, excessive, irrational, and unrealistic emotion characterized by the avoidance of an object or situation or event which an individual recognizes to be harmless. When approaching the phobic object, the individual responds with feelings of dread, discomfort, inhibited motor reaction, apprehension and a feeling of imminent catastrophy. When in contact with the phobic object, the individual trembles, perspires profusely, and manifests other signs and symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In some cases, contact with the phobic object may induce feelings of guilt, nausea, vomiting, involuntary urination or defaecation. Thus, World Health Organization (WHO) (1992) remarked that “phobic anxiety is indistinguishable, subjectively, physiologically, and behaviourally from other types of anxiety and vary in severity from mild unease to terror” (P. 134)
These manifestations indicate that phobic reaction is a powerful unconscious process that an individual cannot voluntarily resist or control. Psychosocial factors like academic education, intelligence, socioeconomic class, parental upbring, religiousity, fashionable lifestyle, bravery or will power, cannot mediate or stop the reactions. The reactions are also pervasive as they could occur any where, any time, and under any circumstances as long as the individual is a victim of phobia. This condition has made some people to opine that victims of phobia should not be blamed for their reactions.

Concept of Xenophobia
American Psychiatric Association (APA) (2001) and WHO (1992) identified three categories of phobias which are: agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), social phobia (fear of performing in the presence of other people), and specific phobia (fear of specific objects or situations). Xenophobia is a psychological disorder under specific phobia. Xenophobia is described as the morbid fear or dislike of strangers, or foreign cultures and places (Corsini 2002). Boehnke (2001) defined xenophobia as “an attitudinal orientation of hostility against non-natives in a given population”. Smesler and Bates (2001) simply regard the term xenophobia to mean “hatred of strangers”. The Asia-Pacific NGO (2001) gave a more elaborate description of xenophobia as the “attitudes, prejudices and behaviour that reject, exclude and often vilify persons, based on the perception that they are outsiders or foreigners to the community, society or national identity”. Xenophobia is therefore a negative emotional disposition of one or more people towards a specific group of people. Terms for some specific groups include: Negrophobia (fear of Negroes or blacks), Anglophobia (fear of English people or whites) (Anderson, Hands & Thomson, 1999). In all cases, xenophobic individuals (xenophobes) manifest the same psychological and physiological symptoms that are characteristic of general phobia.

Perspectives of Xenophobia
However, from the perspectives of the different disciplines, xenophobia has both similarities and differences with general phobia. From the perspective of Psychopathology, xenophobia is as much of a disorder as general phobia. In the case of Social Psychological perspective, general phobia is restricted to one individual at a time while xenophobia may occur in many people in the same location at the same time through the process of social induction. The xenophobic characteristic of differentiating people in the same location into in-group and out-group is a Sociological perspective. In the perspective of Race and Racism discriminating against people is on the basis of the colour of their skins, hair type and facial features (Muller-Benedict, 2002), but the discrimination in the case of xenophobia could occur even among people of the same race as exemplified by the warfare in the territories of the former Yugoslavia. The genocidal attacks of Tutsis by the Hutus in Rwanda is an xenophobic phenomenon which is antithetical to the perspective of Nationalism since both ethnic groups belong to the same country. From the perspective of Developmental Psychology, it is necessary to distinguish stranger anxiety, which is a form of phobia that occurs in children in the age range 8 to 12 months (Corsini, 2002), from xenophobia. The Japanese syndrome called taijin-kyofu-sho, which means fear of other people (Kring, Davison, Neale & Johnson, 2007) is an Anthropological perspective which should be distinguished from xenophobia as it is a type of specific phobia. These perspectives have confirmed the multidimensional nature of xenophobia.
However, the perspectives, especially the Social Psychological, have debunked the view that phobic individuals cannot be made to account for their actions because they have no control over the manifestation of the phobia. In the case of xenophobia, some measures of self control can be exercised because some of those involved in xenophobic attacks are doing so because of social induction. In addition, many of the attackers are influenced by economic, cultural, linguistics and political factors rather than by xenophobic tendency (Boehnke, 2001).

THEORIES OF XENOPHOBIA
Many theories have been formulated to explain the onset of phobia. Apart from the fact that these theories also adequately explain the genesis, manifestation, and sustenance of xenophobia, there are a few other exclusive theories of xenophobia. The following are both categories of theories.

Psychoanalytic Theory
In the original theory, Sigmund Freud postulated that phobia is a form of ego defense mechanism used by an individual to protect him/herself from the high level of anxiety generated by conflicts and repressed impulses. The protection takes the form of displacing the anxiety to objects or situations that have semblance to the conflicts or repressed impulses (Kring et al., 2007). This theory was later modified by Arieti (1979) to make it more appropriate for explaining the genesis of xenophobia. She theorized that children, in their innocence, trusted the people they first lived with to protect them against danger. Conflict which generated a lot of anxiety arose when the children discovered that the people were not reliable in protecting them. Xenophobia emerged in their adulthood when the children encountered strangers or foreigners to whom the anxiety was displaced because they had some semblance of the unreliable people.
Avoidance Conditioning Theory
This is a learning theory refined by Mowrer (1947). If a neutral stimulus is consistently paired with a painful or frightening event, a person will begin to fear the neutral stimulus as a result of classical conditioning. In order to reduce the anxiety produced by the fear, the individual begins to avoid the feared stimulus. The relief from anxiety obtained by avoidance becomes a reinforcer that is operantly conditioned. The avoidance of the neutral stimulus consequently becomes a phobia. For the phobia to be maintained, the painful or frightening event must have produced tremendous physiological arousal. Such an arousal produced in an encounter with a stranger or foreigner may have elicited xenophobic responses, even though the individual is unable to remember the encounter.
Modeling Theory
This learning theory postulated by Bandura and Rosenthal (1966), as a result of series of laboratory studies, states that an individual would manifest physiological arousal either through vicarious learning or verbal instruction by merely watching a model in a pain-eliciting situation. The individual eventually develops phobia for the situation. With respect to xenophobia, the television and radio are the principal sources of vicariously learning the painful experiences of models, especially when these media broadcast anti-strangers/foreigners messages. Some individuals who listen to the broadcasts become xenophobes.
Social-skills Deficit Theory
Kring et al. (2007) theorized that if individuals who lack appropriate social skills behave awkwardly during social interactions and they are criticized for their awkwardness, they would avoid such social situations. The avoidance marks the development of social phobia. If the people in the situations were strangers or foreigners, the avoidance marks the onset of xenophobia.
Cognitive Theory
Heinrichs and Hoffman (2002) posited that individuals who frequently attend to negative stimuli in their lives, or who interprete ambiguous stimuli as threatening, and who believe that negative events are more likely to occur in the future, tend to be highly anxious and to avoid the perceived negative situations or events. The avoidance is a phobia created by their cognitive processes. If thoughts about encounters with strangers and foreigners are negative, anxiety will arise and attempts to reduce the anxiety will result in the avoidance of the encounters and a consequent manifestation of xenophobia.
Gestalt Theory
Applying the gestalt principle of figure-ground-phenomenon, Perls (1947) noted that xenophobia will arise when some members of a community, for one reason or the other, assume the status of a figure to which those in the ground react with aggression
Genetic Theory
This biological predisposing theory was formulated by Hetteman, Neale and Kendler (2001) on the basis of empirical studies. They found that the concordance rate for both social and specific phobias was higher in monozygotic than dizygotic twins. Similarly, the rate was higher in first-degree relatives of phobic patients than in patients who were not related. In the same vein, it is expected that xenophobia will be more common among members of the same family than among non-relatives. This theory explains the social psychological fact why many xenophobes are often found in the same location.
Sociobiological Theory
Waller (2002) postulated that the tendency for human beings to seek proximity to familiar faces and to avoid unfamiliar faces which are probably dangerous, is a universal phenomenon that is rooted in biological evolution. According to him, the consequent natural selection of this phenomenon has resulted in “the behavioural expressions of ethnocentrism and xenophobia” (P. 156). It follows that xenophobia is inevitable in human affairs as people who are genetically similar will always discriminate against those who are genetically different especially if those who are different are minorities or immigrants.
The explanations for the onset of xenophobia offered by these theories are not all inclusively satisfactory as a result of which the theories have been criticized on several grounds. The criticism against the psychoanalytic theory is that the findings are derived from clinical rather that empirical vignettes. The learning theories have not been able to explain why all the people in the same learning settling do not all develop xenophobia. It is difficult to infer from the cognitive theory if anxiety occurred before or after the negative thoughts. The extent to which the postulations of the other theories are generalizable is doubtful. But whatever the doubts expressed against the theories and their inadequacies, they have served as useful tools to guide future research into the theoretical nature of xenophobia.

CAUSES OF XENOPHOBIA
While the theories are hypothetical explanations of the onset of xenophobia, the causes are practically observed genesis of the disorder. The following are some of the causes:

Economic Factors
In a country whose economy is not particularly buoyant, there is often fierce competition for scarce resources, high inflation rate, and unbridled unemployment which create intense anxiety in some of the citizens. In order to reduce the anxiety, xenophobic tendencies begin to be directed at the strangers and foreigners in the country whose presence is perceived to have worsened the economic travails. The xenophobic attacks in South African townships in May 2008 which led to the death of 60 foreigners (http://www.metamute.org) is attributable to economic factors. The attack was directed at the 2-4 million Zimbabweans who were believed to be competing for jobs and living space with indigenous South Africans.
Regional Migrations
Over the years, citizens of several countries have migrated and settled in other countries. Migrants do not often become deeply and sufficiently integrated into the communities of their new countries. Whenever there are psychosocial tensions, the migrants easily become the object of xenophobic attacks. “In Lebanon, xenophobia has increased towards Palestinian Arab refugees who a number of Lebanese see as causing instability in their country” (http://www.http://utpjournals.metapress.com) is a typical case in support of the role of migration in causing xenophobia.
Perceived Threats to Culture
Peoples of many nations guard jealously their cultural heritage. Tension begins to mount in some of the people when they begin to perceive that some aspects of their culture are being eroded by an invading culture. Hence, …. “cultural xenophobia is often narrowly directed, …..at foreign loan words in a national language” (http://www.http://utpjournals. metapress .com). It is a known fact that the French are not comfortable with international dominance of the English Language and attempts have been made in France to resist the dominance, especially as the preferred language in computer literary work. In the U.S.A, “xenophobic views towards Latin Americans include … accusations that Latin American political organizations which demand bilingualism (English and Spanish) in North America will destroy American culture” (Befu, 2001)
Ethnically – based Nationalism
Eventhough, the indigenes of a multicultural country belong to one nation, they experience a form of nationalism where an uneasy calm pervades. Tension often manifests along ethnic divide in the nation. Change in the political leadership of the nation could result in xenophobia as a way of reducing the tensions. With respect to the former Yugoslavia, Befu (2001) rightly noted that … “Xenophobic nationalism amongst Serbs rose in response leading to ethnic violence against Croats and other ethnicities which Serb nationalists deemed as complicit with the destruction of Yugoslavia…”
Perceptions of Neocolonialism
Indigenes usually have a sense of pride in themselves when their country attains independence from a colonial power. But tension and distrust begin to evolve if the indigenes have cause to believe that their independence as a nation is being subtly undermined by the former or some other political powers. Xenophobia could be the response to assuage the tension. The evictions of Whites and Asians from Uganda by President Idi-Amin Dada and the confistication of the farmlands of Whites by Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe (Drummond, 2002) are acts of xenophobia aimed at checkmating neocolonialism.
Political Imbalance
In a country where one group holds a disproportionate share of political power in contrast to another group, political tension and under currents are bound to exist. The disadvantaged group may resort to xenophobia as a way of correcting the political imbalance. A notable case is anti-Tutsi xenophobia in Rwanda which led to genocide and massive refugee problem (UNHCR, 1997)
Terrorism
Terrorists are usually perceived as enemies of the citizens of a country on account of the pain, harm and injury they sometimes unleash on lives and properties. Following the September 11 terrorist acts in U.S.A by the agents of Osama Bin-Ladin, there has been anti-muslim xenophobia in many Western countries (Drummond, 2002)
Religious Doctrine
Religious fanaticism is a common phenomenon in countries where there is a dominant religion. Xenophobia towards the minority religions is an attitudinal disposition aimed at disparaging the “unbelievers”. A typical example is the remark by Befu (2001) that “…Ireland’s struggle for independence in the early 20th century led to xenophobia between the dominant Catholic Irish people of Ireland and the minority Protestant Irish people situated in Northern Island”. In Iraq, “religious sectarian violence exists, as Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims have engaged in violent attacks on each other” (Befu,2001)
Globalization
Globalization is the process in which technological, economic, cultural, legal, linguistic and political ideas and values are transmitted from place to place across the world with a view to creating universal practices. Multinational corporations and fast air transportation systems have been in the forefront as globalization facilitating agents (Weiner, 1995). However, Wakabayashi (1986) has observed the attempt to resist globalization in Japan. He noted that “nihonjinron, a widely popular type of nonfiction literature ……(which) has been described as xenophobic…” attempts to resist the move by Japanese scholars and leaders to tie Western Learning to Nativist Studies (Kokugaku) as a process of nation building.
Mass Communication Systems
The advent of powerful communication systems like the internet, the Global System of Mobile (GSM) telephony and communication stations like CNN, SKY, BBC and VOA has made the world a global village in terms of the very fast speed at which information is transmitted. Consequently, negative events against foreigners in one country easily lead to xenophobic reprisals, counter attacks and retaliation in the home country of the foreigners. This has sometimes led to the two countries recalling their ambassadors or breaking diplomatic ties between them. In this aspects, Befu (2001) observed hat “in Israel and Palestinian National Authority, continuous violence between Jews and Arabs over disputed territory has created xenophobic sentiment amongst the two sides…”
The factors which cause xenophobia may occur singly or in combination with two or more factors enumerated above. The intensity of the manifesting xenophobia also varies from one factor to the other. That is why a thorough analysis of the causes of xenophobia in any particular context needs to be done so that the effects of xenophobia and the processes of treating/managing it can be better understood.

EFFECTS OF XENOPHOBIA
The effects, signs, and symptoms of general phobia also apply to xenophobia. But, in addition to the general symptoms, the effects of xenophobia are observable at three different levels which are: personal, the victim, and the society.

Personal Level of Xenophobia Effects
These are the effects of xenophobia on the individual who is a xenophobe. The individual will manifest most of the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders of which phobia and xenophobia are subcategories. When the xenophobe is approaching known strangers or foreigners, he/she becomes apprehensive, uncomfortable, nervous, jittery and shows a very strong desire to avoid them. When in the midst of strangers/foreigners, the xenophobe experiences increased heartbeat, profuse sweating, dry mouth, desire to urinate or defaecate, trembling hands, quavering voice, inability to make eye contact and clumsy social interaction. The xenophobe may also show anger, distrust, aggression, discrimination and hatred towards the victim (APA, 2001; WHO, 1992)
Victim Level of Xenophobia Effects
These are the characteristic patterns of behaviours and feelings that those who are victims of xenophobia experience. The negative reactions of xenophobes to them make the victims to be confused, bewildered and astonished because they cannot fathom the reasons for the xenophobes’ behaviour towards them. They become angry, concerned and fearful when they begin to understand that the xenophobes’ reactions are particularly targeted at them as a group. The awareness of the discrimination is concretized when the victims observe Government Polices against them. Amnesty International (2004) reported that in Dominican Republic, “grand children and great grand children of Haitians are denied birth certificates, medical care, education and social services”.
The peak of the victims’ discomfiture is attained when they begin to witness confiscation or destruction of their properties, lynching, dealths and genocide among members of their ethnic or religious or political groups.
Societal Level of Xenophobia Effects
These are the effects of xenophobia on the society or country at large where xenophobia is practised. When the xenophobic attacks are rampant and intense, the communities and countries begin to attract negative publicity to themselves. The unfavourable attention of the international community to such countries, makes the xenophobic countries to lose out in tourism, international trade; educational, cultural, political, economic, and scientific exchange programmes. These loses may in turn negatively affect the economy of such countries with an attendant increase in the poverty level of the citizens.

ASSESSMENT OF XENOPHOBIA
Clinical assessment is the process of collecting data about an individual with a view to evaluating and making decisions about the prevailing status of the individual’s psychological characteristics. Assessment of xenophobia therefore refers to the process of evaluating the characteristics which differentiate the typical xenophobe from a non-xenophobe. The methods of assessment are predominantly the same as those that are used to assess general phobia. The methods commonly used are as follows:

Clinical Interview
This is a face-to-face interaction with the xenophobe aimed at obtaining information from him/her which will help in deducing the origin, predisposing factors, characteristics and the maintaining parameters of the xenophobia. Information is usually obtained about the client’s childhood and adolescent history, parents and siblings, education, health; interpersonal relationship at home, school, workplace and the community, as well as his/her forensic history.
Behavioural Assessment
Systematic visual observation is used to obtain relevant information from the xenophobe. The process is sometimes supplemented with asking him/her to go through an album with pictures of people of different nationalities and religions, or to sort the pictures into different piles and categories. During the sorting, the xenophobe’s facial expressions; movement of the fingers, legs, head, lips, eyes and other body parts, which are indicative of anxiety, are carefully monitored.
Psychometric Assessment
It involves the use of standardized psychological tests to obtain appropriate information. In addition to tests which assess general anxiety, there are a few tests that also assess phobia specifically. The following tests are appropriate.
(a) Multiple Affect Adjective Checklist (MAACL)
Developed by Zuckerman and Lubin (1965), the test is a checklist of 132 adjectives which people often use to describe their feelings in various settings, occasions and circumstances. One version of the test measures current feelings while the other version measures an individual’s general disposition. The affects measured with the two versions are: anxiety, depression and hostility which xenophobes usually manifest.

(b) State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)
The 40-item inventory developed by Spielberger, Gorsuch and Lushene (1970) assesses emotions characterized by feelings of tension, apprehension and autonomic arousal which are the hallmark of anxiety. The test has two versions which measure situation – specific anxiety (anxiety state) and the predisposition of an individual to being anxious (anxiety trait). Xenophobes usually manifest a high level of anxiety state in the presence of strangers or foreigners.
(c) Symptoms-distress Checklist 90 (SCL-90)
It is a 90-item inventory designed by Derogatis, Lipman and Covi (1977) to assess 10 categories of distress many of which are experienced by xenophobes. The categories are: somatization, obsessive – compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobia, paranoid ideation, psychoticism and neuroticism.

(d) Fear Survey Schedule (FSS)
It is a 108-item inventory developed by Wolpe and Lang (1969) to assess specific phobias. The items include many human types, conditions, and circumstances that can indicate xenophobia. In fact, item 23-“Strangers” specifically assesses xenophobia

(e) Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory2 (MMPI-2)
The 567-item multidimensional measure of personality is a veritable diagnostic instrument for the assessment of about 60 psychopathological conditions. Developed by Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen and Kaemmer (1989), the MMPI-2 scales which assess phobia are: ANX (anxiety) and FRS (fears). The MMPI-2 personality profile associated with specific phobias, of which xenophobia is a member, is 2-3-7 (Greene, 1991; Meyer & Dietsch 1996). The individuals have elevations in scales 2 (depression), 3 (Hysteria) and, 7 (Psychasthenia).
In order to obtain comprehensive result that is reliable and valid it is advisable to use a combination of the assessment methods enumerated above. Using a combination of clinical interview, behavioural assessment and at least two of the psychometric tests is an ideal assessment approach. This approach is further enhanced by the fact that these psychometric tests, which were developed outside Nigeria, have been restandardized with Nigeria populations and they have adequate Nigerian psychometric properties.

TREATMENT OF XENOPHOBIA
The methods for the treatment and management of xenophobia are direct offshoot of the theories of the condition. But many of the treatment methods combine the principles of some of the theories in other to achieve the necessary beneficial effects. The popular treatment methods include the following.

Psychoanalytic Approach
In line with the belief of psychoanalysts that xenophobia is a product of childhood repressed conflicts, the therapist directs attention at analyzing the content of the xenophobe’s free-association and dreams, especially those relating to early childhood experiences. Kring et al. (2007) noted that beneficial therapeutic results will be obtained if the analysis focused on the sexual, aggressive and interpersonal conflicts of the xenophobe. Watchel (1977) found that optimum results are obtained if the client is made to confront the feared situation in addition to the analysis.
Systematic Desensitization
This behaviour therapy approach involves getting the xenophobe and the therapist to construct a hierarchy of the conditions and nature of the fear of strangers and foreigners. When the xenophobe is put in a state of deep relaxation, he/she is systematically taken through the hierarchy of fears starting from the least anxiety provoking. In the first part of therapy, progression through the hierarchy is made in the imagination. In the second part of therapy, the client is exposed in vivo to the feared situation while relaxed.
Implosive Therapy
This method, which is also called flooding, is another behaviour therapy approach. The therapist compels the xenophobe to interact, fullblast, with strangers and foreigners in a tightly controlled environment from where he/she cannot escape. The prolonged full intensity exposure of the client usually diminishes and eventually eliminates the xenophobia. This method is, however, not recommended for individuals who have a history of coronary heart diseases (Goldfried & Davison, 1979)
Social Learning Therapies
The series of techniques are derived from the principles of learning. Starting with modeling, the xenophobe is made to watch video clips of admired models interacting with known strangers and foreigners. The xenophobe is next taught appropriate social skills to enhance his/her ability to engage in fruitful social interactions with strangers and foreigners. Adopting classical and operant conditioning methods, the pattern of social interaction is gradually shaped to attain the expected ideal.
Cognitive Therapy
The first step is to identify the irrational thoughts and beliefs of the client which occasioned xenophobia. The consequences of the beliefs are explained to him/her and he/she is systematically made to dispute the beliefs and substitute them with more rational thoughts (Ellis, 1984). The rational thoughts are followed up with practical behaviour patterns in the feared situations.
Biological Therapy
This is the process of using psychoactive drugs in the management of xenophobia. The drugs of choice are the benzodiazepines (e.g valium) which reduce high anxiety level, and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors (e.g phenelzine) which reduce depression in the client (Kring et al., 2007; Meyer, 1996).
An eclectic approach is generally advised in the treatment of xenophobia as better results are obtained by combining two or more methods. Caution should be exercised in the use of biological therapy by psychiatrists as the drugs have side effects. The benzodiazepines are addictive while the MAO inhibitors make clients to gain unnecessary weight (Kring et al., 2007)
PREVENTION OF XENOPHOBIA
The onset of xenophobia in an individual cannot be prevented because it is an unconscious and an insidious process. The individual does not know when, how, where and why he/she became a xenophobe. But what can be prevented is the social induction of xenophobic reactions into large numbers of people in the same community or location. If there are a few committed xenophobes in a community, they can induce other people to join them in their xenophobic reactions through the social psychological process of what Brehm and Kassin (1990) called Information influence and normative influence. These are processes by which people conform to the actions of minorities either because they are genuinely persuaded by the information given by the minorities (information) or they want to avoid the negative social consequences of appearing deviant even though they privately disagree with the minorities (normative). In addition to these social psychological principles, principles derived from the causes of xenophobia can also be used in preventing this social malady. The following are some of the prevention approaches.

Individuation Approach
This is the process of focusing attention on peculiar individuals in a group so that they will not be submerged by the group through deindividuation (Brehm & Kassin, 1990). It follows that if special attention is paid to known xenophobes in a community, they will not be able to use either information influence or normative influence to get the other members of the community to engage in xenophobic attacks.
Mass Media Campaigns
Regular information on radio, television and newspapers enlightening people about the evil of xenophobia will persuade a lot of them not to participate in xenophobic attacks.
Good Governance
Mass-oriented economic, political, educational and cultural policies backed-up with prudent fiscal practices will go a long way in reducing the economic, cultural, ethnic, neocolonial, and political causes of xenophobia. Transparent leadership by example is a hallmark of good governance.
Religious Tolerance
The formation of an active National Council on Religious Tolerance, that is supported with appropriate legislations, has the potential of diffusing religious tension that is usually started by a few fanatical religious xenophobes. Such a council should have a structure for regularly monitoring the activities of the different religious groups.
Immigration Policy
Apart from enforcing the regular immigration policies, measures should be taken promptly to address and contain the influx of refugees in a country. The refugees need to be settled in a manner that their presence will not adversely affect the economic, political, educational and cultural structures of the host country (Omoluabi, 2003) so that xenophobes will not be given the excuse to operate.

CONCLUSION
It should be realized that xenophobia is a universal phenomenon that is found in some individuals in all countries of the world. What is not universal is xenophobic attacks. In Nigeria, both xenophobic and the associated attacks have been known. The multicultural status of Nigeria with about 374 ethnic groups (Otite, 1990) has produced some form of mutual distrust among some of the groups. The distrust has led to series of ethnic clashes, inter-boundary violent disputes, and discrimination in appointments to the Federal Civil Service (Adebayo, 2001). Religious clashes epitomized by the maitasine riot in 1992 are also indicators of xenophobia. In fact, most of the causes of xenophobia enumerated above also apply to Nigeria. That is why Nigeria must take an affirmative action against xenophobia. The earlier the National Assemblies and the Civil Rights Societies take the necessary action to stem xenophobia, the better it will augur well for the nation

(c) Professor Peter F. Omoluabi