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Don’t attack South African companies in Nigeria, FG appeals

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The Nigerian government has appealed Nigerians not to attack South African affiliated companies branches in Nigeria.

"The Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians not to attack South African companies operating in Nigeria in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa," minister of information, Lai Mohammed said in a statement.

"Targetting South African companies in Nigeria for attack is, for Nigerians, a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face, because the investors in such companies, especially MTN and Shoprite, are Nigerians," Mohammed added.

The government's appeal comes following attacks on various companies with South Africa affiliations in Nigeria.

On Tuesday, Shoprite, a retail store in Lekki, Lagos was vandalised and looted while an MTN office was burnt in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Owing to fears of further attacks a Shoprite distribution centre on Oshodi-Apapa expressway was guarded by police while their signage was also covered. Several other Shoprite stores across Lagos have also been sealed and guarded by police.

Five people have been killed in the ongoing anti-foreigner violence in South Africa, South African police said, as President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to clamp down on what he described as "acts of wanton violence" and the African Union and Nigeria sounded the alarm.

Most of the deceased were South Africans, police said.

Police fired rubber bullets and arrested 189 people in the township of Alexandra on Tuesday, a day after clashing with looters who local media said targeted foreign-owned businesses in several parts of the city.

About two dozen shops, owned by both foreigners and locals, were vandalised or looted.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari sent an envoy to South Africa on Tuesday to “express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens”.

The government said the special envoys sent will among others demand a compensation payment for Nigerians who have suffered loss in the latest waves of attacks on businesses owned by foreigners.

“It is just those two key issues, the compensation payment and what security mechanism be put in place to make sure that these kinds of attacks do not recur,” Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Geoffery Onyeama, said on Tuesday.


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