By Emmanuel Elebeke
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.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described as deeply disturbing the reports that some Nigerians, angered by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, have started attacking South African companies in Nigeria.
He said that 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.
Alhaji Mohammed said the majority of the workers in the South African companies operating in Nigeria are also Nigerians, meaning that its Nigerian workers who will be hardest hit if such companies are forced to shut down for fear of attacks.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is already taking decisive measures to put an end to the persistent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
”President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a Special Envoy to convey to his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa, his
concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation.
”Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, acting on the instruction of Mr. President, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria to get a brief on the situation; express
Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and secure assurance of the safety of their lives and property,” the Minister said.