Segun James in Lagos
Lagos State Government has warned that it would deal ruthlessly with trouble-makers who were bent on exploiting the ongoing xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa to foment trouble in the state.
Issuing a stern warning yesterday to people engaging in reprisals against innocent people in Lagos in response to events in South Africa, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said he would not condone violence of any form on innocent residents and businesses in the state by any person or group.
The governor advised parents to warn their children against taking to violence, stressing that the full wrath of the law would be brought on anyone caught in reprisal against peace-loving foreigners and businesses in the state.
He said: “We have watched the disturbing videos of attacks and vandalism against Nigerian nationals and their businesses in South Africa. These precipitated strong reactions by some Nigerians who chose to vent their anger on investments on South Africans in Lagos yesterday.
“As a government, we condemn the violence visited on innocent people by the hoodlums who attacked Shoprite and other business interests owned by South Africans in Lagos. We cannot attempt to find a solution to a criminality by committing criminality. This is not part of our values as Nigerians.
“Therefore, I wish to state categorically that Lagos will remain safe for all Nigerian citizens and law-abiding foreign nationals who are here for business.
“We will not condone any act that can lead to breakdown of law and order.
“I implore all residents to go about their lawful businesses without any fear. Lagos will remain open to local and foreign investments.”
Sanwo-Olu called for calm, pointing out that the federal government had been responding to xenophobic violence in South Africa at the diplomatic level.