Anger, frustration and a sense of revenge enveloped Nigerians during the week as reports and images of their countrymen and women being maimed and killed in South African cities by the locals flooded the screens, the social media and pages of newspapers.
Pockets of reprisal attacks on South African businesses were reported in major Nigerian cities. Some were shut, albeit temporarily, in order to allow tempers simmer.
Former British and Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Peter Oboh has pleaded with Nigerians to apply wisdom in handling the crisis with South Africa. He urged Nigerians not to allow their emotions overwhelm their sense of reasoning.
However, Oboh condemned the killing of Nigerians in South Africa and observed that the senseless act that has ignited a major diplomatic and economic set back between the two countries.
Beyond that Oboh noted that the attack which was not only on Nigerians but on nationals of other African countries living in that country has already seen to the isolation of South Africa as some countries have announced the cancellation of friendly matches against the South African national team, the Bafana Bafana.
“Within one week, we have seen Zambia and Madagascar withdraw their national teams from playing friendly games against the South African national team, the Bafana Bafana and more will come if caution is not applied,” he said.
“And this won’t be good for the teeming youths of both South Africa and other African nations. Sports is knows no prejudices and once sports is affected, millions of youths across the continent would be affected as well.”
Oboh prayed for the sustenance of relations between Nigeria and South Africa given the role Nigeria played in dismantling apartheid in that country. “.Nigerian spent over $6 billion dollars to put things right in South Africa. Leaders of both countries must do everything within their powers to halt the situation from degenerating further. We need each other,” Oboh concluded.