Atiku condemns persistent attack on Nigerians in South Africa
Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar Tuesday condemned persistent attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.
“Reported attacks against Nigerians in South Africa is unacceptable and stands condemned,” Atiku said in a tweet.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of Nigeria’s opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the country’s general election, said such actions against fellow Africans could destroy the continent’s unity.
He asked the Nigerian government needs to take urgent steps with South Africa authorities and the African Union to bring an end to the attacks.
For over two years, Nigerians in South Africa have been subjected to killings and attacks on their businesses by citizens of their host country.
Reports on the recent attack on Monday, September 2 says about three foreigners were killed. Many including Nigerians also had their businesses looted and destroyed.
In his reaction, Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama said the government will take “definitive measures” on the xenophobic attacks against Nigerian-owned businesses in South Africa.
Describing the attacks as sickening, Onyeama said South African police protection for Nigerian businesses has been “ineffective”.
“We will take definitive measures,” Onyeama said and described the attacks as “sickening and depressing”.
The minister said Nigerians were attacked and their businesses looted by “criminals” whom South African police are struggling to contain.
Seeking an end to the attacks, Onyeama has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe to a meeting.
Reports say about 118 Nigerians have been killed in the country in recent years. Some were said to have been killed by the country’s policemen.
In July, the largest association of Nigerian students called for the expulsion of South African businesses from Nigeria. The student group even picketed some businesses in Ogun State, southwest Nigeria.
But a South African official said the students’ position was “unwarranted” and their claims were untrue.
“The protests are said to be in response to alleged killings of Nigerians by South Africans; as you are aware these allegations are devoid of truth, reckless and unwarranted,” the counselor in charge of political Affair at the South African High Commission in Abuja Anna-Maria Jojozi said.
Jojozi insisted that xenophobic allegations and call for the expulsion of South African businesses from Nigeria does not reflect the strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
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