FG Warns Nigerians against Reprisal Attacks on S’Africans

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Following the spate of xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa, the federal government yesterday appealed to Nigerians not to retaliate by attacking South African companies operating in Nigeria. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the appeal in a statement issued in Abuja.

He described as deeply disturbing the reports that some Nigerians, angered by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, had started attacking South African companies operating in Nigeria.

Mohammed warned that targetting South African companies in Nigeria for attack is, for Nigerians, a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

He warned that the key investors in the major South African franchise companies, like MTN and Shoprite, are Nigerians.

He similarly reasoned that majority of the workers in the South African companies operating in Nigeria are also Nigerians, which implies that its Nigerian workers who will be hardest hit if such companies are forced to shut down for fear of attacks.

He assured Nigerians that the federal government was already taking decisive measures to put an end to the persistent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

‘’President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a Special Envoy to convey to his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, his concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation.

‘’Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, acting on the instruction of Mr. President, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria to get a brief on the situation; express

Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and secure assurance of the safety of their lives and property,’’ Mohammad said.