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South Africa-owned shops remain shut

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Several Shoprite outlets in Lagos State yesterday remained shut following a spate of attacks targeted at the South African stores across the city on Tuesday.

Protesters had trooped to several Shoprite outlets across Lagos as a reprisal to the string of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.

There are at least seven Shoprite outlets in Lagos. On Wednesday, there was a heavy police presence at Adeniran Ogunsanya in Surulere as several shops remained under lock and key following the looting by hoodlums of a South African clothing retailer, PEP, a day earlier. A security officer at the First Bank branch in the area said the bank was not open due to the crisis in the neighbourhood on Tuesday.

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In a video that has gone viral, Nigerians were seen looting and vandalizing a PEP Retail Store in Surulere, while police fired teargas to disperse a horde of rioters.

Lagosians living on the island had endured horrendous traffic amid escalating riots on Tuesday night as hoodlums went on a rampage to vent their anger on one of the protesters earlier killed by a stray bullet.

The fear of protest and disruption of broadcast has also made Multichoice, producers of the Big Brother Naija show to reinforce its security around the location studio of the Big Brother House in Lagos.

Also, MTN Nigeria yesterday shut its outlet on Ogunnusi Road, Ojodu, Lagos, while armed policemen were also deployed to man the premises.

MTN, a South African telecoms firm, is the biggest mobile telecommunication network provider in Nigeria, with 38 per cent share of the telecoms market and 65,379,196 subscribers as of July 2019, according to the data on the website of the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Nigerian music stars, Burna Boy and Tiwa Savage, weighed in on the development. Savage said she would no longer be performing at an upcoming concert in late September. She said the xenophobic violence provoked the decision.

Burna Boy said he had not visited South Africa since 2017 after a “xenophobic experience.” He vowed not to return until the government addresses the issue.

Also, Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji, aired her opinion on the xenophobic attacks being unleashed on Nigerians. The ‘Lionheart’ actress wrote on her verified Instagram handle, that its time to show the South Africans who we are but most importantly, it’s time we believed in ourselves.

Genevieve wrote, “A life with us isn’t the worse thing. They need to see one without us. They’ve shown us countless times who they are. Let’s believe them. “It’s time to show them who we are. But most importantly, it’s time we believed in ourselves.”


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