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Minister cautions against attacks on plazas in Abuja

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Policemen shoot canister of tear gas to disperse people during a demonstration and attacks against South Africa’s owned shops in Abuja, on September 4, 2019. – More than a hundred demonstrators clashed with police near a South African-owned supermarket in the Nigerian capital on September 4, 2019 as resentment simmered over attacks on foreign-owned shops in South Africa. Demonstrators burned tyres and hurled rocks outside a mall in Abuja where a branch of the Shoprite supermarket is located, before being repelled by a dozen police, an AFP journalist saw. (Photo by KOLA SULAIMON / AFP)

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Bello, has expressed shock over the raid on Shoprite plazas across the territory by protesters over recent Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

He, however, urged residents of the territory, especially students and youths, not to carry out retaliatory attack on any South African national and business interest in the FCT.

The FCT minister, who appealed to FCT residents to remain calm and go about their lawful activities, warned that law enforcement agencies had been mobilised to forestall any breakdown of law and order and that anybody instigating or participating in any act of violence or vandalism would face the wrath of the law.

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He said that the Federal Government was already exploiting diplomatic channels to address this issue and appealed that residents should allow those efforts to succeed.

Bello gave this warning yesterday while reacting to the actions of Nigerian protesters in Abuja.

Meanwhile, South-East traders, under the aegis of South-East Amalgamated Market Traders Association (SEAMATA), have appealed to Nigerians to shun reprisal attack on South African businesses in the country.

SEAMATA, in a statement after a general meeting in Enugu signed by its President-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and Secretary-General, Mr. Alex Okwudili, condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerian citizens in South Africa, stressing that it was capable of severing the relationship if not well managed.

Also, the Ondo State government has ordered the deployment of security personnel to Shoprite and MTN offices in the state to prevent an attack on the facilities.

The Acting and Deputy Governor of the state, Agboola Ajayi, who stated this yesterday while inspecting the havoc caused by flood in Idanre Local Council of the state, said the deployment was a sequel to the report that some people might attack the foreign conglomerates in Akure, the state capital.

In a statement by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Babatope Okeowo, the acting governor decried the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa but warned against a retaliatory attack on part of Nigerians, saying that two wrongs cannot make a right.


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