Following renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa,the Nigerian government has called on the African Union, AU, as well as the South African government to ensure the protection of Nigerians as well as other Africans in the country.
Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, made the call Monday in Abuja.
Describing the attacks as an “unnecessary setback”, the Presidential aide urged Nigerians in South Africa to be extra cautious since it appears the government of the country has no control over the attacks.
She also called on them to be calm, warning that any more attacks on Nigerians may have dire consequences.
Dabiri-Erewa pointed out that the attention of the AU has also been drawn to the reports of planned attacks against foreigners in South Africa on February 22 and February 23.
“These attacks should not be allowed to continue because it is a big setback,” she said.
Chairman of the Nigerian Community in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene,confirmed the attacks and looting of businesses owned by Nigerians in Pretoria on Saturday.
“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church have been looted and burned by South Africans,” Anyene said.
“One of the buildings is a mechanic garage with 28 cars under repairs,with other vital documents, were burned during the attack.
“Also, the pastor of the church was wounded and is in the hospital receiving treatment,” he said.
Anyene also confirmed that the union had received information that there will be xenophobic attacks against foreigners on February 22 and February 23.
Recall that Dabiri-Erewa had held a meeting with the South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, two weeks ago over the issue of xenophobic attacks.
“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years. And in 2016alone, about 20 were killed.
This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” Dabiri-Erewa told Aaron-Mnguni who promised that the South African government would do something about the matter.