Tag Archives: xenophobia

Xenophobia victims may be compensated, as Buhari, South Africa sign 32 agreements

WEEKS after xenophobic attacks in South Africa stirred tension between Africa’s leading economies, President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, met yesterday to explore solutions.

They agreed to set up “early warning
mechanisms” to detect hostility between South Africans and Nigerians to avoid recurrence of violence.

Buhari travelled to South Africa following diplomatic tension between Pretoria and Abuja, a situation that forced the evacuation of about 600 Nigerians.

While the President expressed his condemnation for the violence against Nigerians, Ramaphosa said Nigerians living in South Africa should respect the law.

He vowed to ensure there is no recurrence.
Ramaphosa said: “We have expressed our deep regret at the events of the past few weeks that manifested themselves through attacks that were directed at foreign nationals and our condemnation of all forms of intolerance and acts of violence remains very, very firm.”

Nigeria recalled its high commissioner and evacuated some of its citizens last month after a spate of attacks left at least 12 people dead, sparking protests in Nigeria that targeted South African companies, including MTN and Shoprite, which were forced to temporarily close shop.

Buhari condemned “the very few incidents of retaliatory attacks”, saying: “We took strong and decisive measures to stop the attacks and prevent any recurrences.”

He deplored “in the strongest terms, attacks against Nigerians and other African nationals living in South Africa, the looting of their shops and businesses and burning of their properties”.

The President added: “We call for the strengthening and implementation of all the necessary measures to prevent the re-occurrence of such action which threatens to undermine, not only our strong bilateral relations but also, what we stand for in the context of our vision for a strong and prosperous Africa we want.”

Buhari agreed to set up a committee to address the issue of compensation to the victims, though South Africa was yet to formally agree to Nigeria’s reparation request, it was learnt.

The issue was not mentioned in the joint communique issued at the end of the meeting, but a source who was part of the delegation but prefers not to be named said it was agreed that a committee on compensation is set up.
In the communique, both leaders condemned the violent incidents and the destruction of property. They reiterated their call for heightened law enforcement.

The two presidents endorsed the establishment of an Early Warning Mechanism and directed the two Foreign Ministers to give practical expression to it.

They endorsed the reestablishment of the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Republic of Nigeria Consular Forum to meet twice a year.

Buhari arrived in South Africa on Wednesday on Ramaphosa’s invitation.

He attended the inaugural elevated Bi-National Commission (BNC) session, which he co-chaired, as part of continuing bilateral engagements aimed at deepening cooperation.
The communique says Ramaphosa alluded to the fact that the unfortunate incidents were not consistent with the values and principles underpinning South Africa’s constitutional democracy.

He dispelled the notion that incidents of violence affecting foreign nationals were targeted at Nigerian nationals, as other foreign nationals and indeed South Africans were also affected.

Ramaphosa assured his counterpart that the South African government was fully in control of the situation and that several interventions and engagements with the diplomatic community were underway.

Speaking at the ninth BNC at the Union Building, the seat of the presidency in the capital of Pretoria, Buhari urged the South African government to open up its economy for more Nigerian businesses and to protect them.
Buhari said: “We are pleased to inform you that our government has made doing business in Nigeria easier through the Ease of Doing Business Initiative to open up more opportunities for investors in Nigeria.

“We call on the Government of South Africa to also take steps to ease the doing of business in the country, and open up its market space for Nigerian businessmen and women.”

According to Buhari, Nigeria would continue to value its relationship with South Africa.
No fewer than 32 agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed during the visit.

Buhari said: “We, in Nigeria, value the warm fraternal relations binding our two countries and cherish our Special relationship. We consider South Africa an ally and a strategic partner.”
He called for increased collaboration against arms and drug/human trafficking and money laundering.

Ramaphosa said the attacks were regrettable, assuring that his government would do more to safeguard lives and property.

He said: “We will always be grateful to Nigeria for the support we received during the dark days of apartheid. We shall never forget the role you played to ensure that our people get the freedom we are enjoying today.”

Ramaphosa said the 32 bilateral agreements and MoUs cover trade and industry, science and technology, defence, agriculture and energy.
He said South Africa would create a more enabling environment for Nigerian businesses to thrive, acknowledging that more South African companies operate in Nigeria, while Nigerians were mostly in small and medium scale sectors in his country.

He promised to deepen the reforms in his country to open the space for more Nigerian business to “address the imbalance”.
Ramaphosa said: “The rule of law must be obeyed by all citizens. Nigerians in South Africa must obey the rule of law, while South Africans in Nigeria must obey the rule of law.”
Nigeria is South Africa’s largest trading partner on the continent, with trade flows estimated at $4.48billion in 2018.

According to data from the Stellenbosch-based Trade Law Centre, only nine per cent of Nigeria’s total trade is intra-African, and almost half of that is with South Africa.

Nigeria is said to account for 64 per cent of South Africa’s total trade with the West African sub-Region.

Source – The Nation

Flight from South Africa departs Johannesburg with 178 passengers

The flight conveying Nigerians has finally departed Johannesburg, South Africa.

The six- hour flight is expected to land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at about 11.15 pm.

The flight took off at about 2.30pm with 178 Nigerians on board.

The flight, which was earlier scheduled for 9am suffered some hitches, leading to the late take off.

Prince Ben Okoli, President of Nigerian Citizen Association, South Africa, confirmed departure of the flight to our correspondent.

He said: “The flight just left about 20 minutes ago.”

He explained that the delay was as a result of immigration matters.

Nigeria Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama had assured Nigerians on Tuesday that the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa will be hitch free.

Adama noted that the mission in South Africa has put in place measures to ease evacuation of the willing Nigerians.

He also noted that proper documentation has been carried out and the mission is ready for the evacuation exercise.

The envoy said that mission had also put necessary checks in place to ensure that other nationals do not take the advantage of the free flight by Air Peace to come into Nigeria.

Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, had last week volunteered to send aircraft to evacuate Nigerians who wish to return home free of charge.

“Air Peace is willing to support the Nigerian Government’s efforts in this matter by deploying our B777 aircraft to evacuate Nigerians back home,” Onyema said.

The Chairman of the Air Peace had also warned the returnees not to pay any money as the exercise was free of charge.

The Consul General said that the two missions in Pretoria and Johannesburg were working assiduously to ensure itch free flight for the returnees.

Adama said: “We are documenting people through filling of relevant form with information such as place of birth, state of origin, local government areas.

“We also check nationality and discourage wives with different nationalities to avoid bringing in other nationals. We equally discourage those wanting to take advantage of the flight.

“The two Missions are working together to make a success of the repatriation exercise.

“Nigerians will be conveyed in buses from the two missions to the airport at early hours of the morning on Wednesday to ensure smooth operations,” he said.

XENOPHOBIA:Oshiomhole spits fire, asks FG to take over South African companies in Nigeria

APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole today called for economic sanctions on South African-owned companies, and takeover of MTN over cenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

He urged the government to request Standard Chartered Bank and Stanbic IBTC owned by the South Africans to wind up its operations in the country to enable Nigerian banks expand their operations and maximise profits.

Xenophobia: Security Operatives Take Over Shoprite, MTN & PEP Stores in Asaba

Sola Charles,Asaba.

South African companies in Asaba, the Delta State capital were beleaguered by security operatives Wednesday 3rd September, following the spontaneous reactions of Nigerians due to xenophobia.

Shoprite, PEP stores along Nnebisi Road and MTN outlets in the city on Wednesday, shutdown for security reasons.

Shoprite at Inter-bua in Asaba Delta state  capital which is usually a beehive of activities on a daily basis, was taken over by stern-looking armed security operatives on Wednesday with about 3-4 Amoured Personnel Carriers(APC) strategically position to check possible threat.

Apart from the armed security men pacing around the premises, no one was granted entry into the entire mall and everywhere was under lock and key

Our Correspondent gathered that sales representatives, who had resumed early for the day’s work, were prevented from accessing the facility as they were politely asked to return home to await further briefing.

The management of Shoprite, it was gathered, promised to open for sales after the current tension across the country subsides.

The security agents, comprising soldiers and mobile policemen manning the Shop, would not respond to enquiries on the obvious reason they were drafted there.

Xenophobia: Another Nigerian protester shot in Abuja by Nigeria police

One person has been shot in Abuja as hundreds stormed the Shoprite mall along Abuja Airport road near Lugbe to protest the attack on Nigerians in South Africa.

The protesters, who were prevented by the police and the military from attacking the mall, resulted to burning tires and a billboard along the Abuja-airport road.

The protesters, who were largely youths, threw stones at the security operatives, causing heavy traffic build-up on the expressway and forcing motorists to look for alternatives.

The police and military men, who could not bear the outcome of the distraction by the protesters, started firing teargas and bullet into the air to disrupt the protesters.

The situation worsened as the protesters attacked security operatives.

In the process of shooting into the air, an artisan opposite the Shoprite mall was gunned down and immediately rushed to an undisclosed hospital.

The security operatives proceeded to smoke the protesters out of their hiding places in a village just opposite the Shoprite, when the teargas overwhelmed them.

Motorists and passersby were thrown into panic and fear during the battle between the security operatives and the protesters.

THE NATION

Xenophobia: MTN Nigeria shuts down nationwide

South African telecommunications giant, MTN has announced the impromptu closure of all its shops in Nigeria.

This may not be unconnected with the threat by some Nigerians to reciprocate the Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

This morning, Bodija, Ibadan office of MTN was set on fire by an irate mob.

The incident resulted in gridlock as vehicles passing through Agodi government secretariat road en route the University of Ibadan are having a hectic time, navigating the road. There were similar attempts to burn MTN offices in Uyo and parts of Lagos.

Jungle Journalist News Corporation learnt that there had been series of attacks on Nigerians and their businesses in South Africa.

The attacks by South Africans also led to attempted reprisals by Nigerians to raze some South African owned companies in Nigeria, including MTN, DSTV, PEP Shops , Stanbic IBTC and Shoprite.

In a message to its subscribers on Wednesday morning, MTN Nigeria announced the closure of its shops and the operation of its online platforms.

”Yello! Our shops are unavailable today. You can reach us on Twitter- @MTN180, MTNonline.com/Livec

More details later.

One killed as Nigerians in Uyo, Ibadan, Lagos, Akure attack Shoprite, MTN, DSTV, PEP shop, Stanbic IBTC Bank…heavy looting, burning of shops reported

Sola Charles,Asaba, with Agency Reports

Following the recent xenophobic attacks and killing of Nigerians in South Africa, Nigerians have started attacking different businesses with South African concerns in the country. Cities where attacks were recorded include Ibadan, Lagos and Uyo, while outlets in Enugu, Warri, and many parts of Lagos reportedly shut down till further notice.

Jungle Journalist News Corporation gathered that in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, MTN office was attacked and glass windows broken, while staff were injured and other valuable destroyed.

The attack was meted on MTN office Ikot Ekpene road in the afternoon of Tuesday, September 3, 2019 while contract staff and agents were carrying out their duties. The attack is owing to the campaign by Nigerians to boycott patronage of South African companies and products. 

As at when this story was published, the MTN staff are on the run for their lives and the office is deserted without guarantee of job security or insurance for the injured staff. 

In Ibadan, residents allegedly gathered outside the Palms Shopping Mall, New G.R.A., chanting xenophobic slogans and demanding that South African businesses leave Nigeria.

A witness said violence broke out just before 6:00 p.m. outside the shopping mall.

In Lagos, an attack on Shoprite outlet in Lekki which began in the afternoon of Tuesday, was quelled by police, where they shot and killed a protester. The angry crowd allegedly set ablaze a police van, before they dispersed. They however reinforced and returned at dusk and broke into the mall, where they carried away goods from the shops. As at the time of filing this report, the looting has continued, while security agents tried in futility to stop them. A similar report also emanated from Shoprite, Surulere, which is reportedly attacked and looted.

Also in Lagos, an unidentified brand of PEP clothes shop also belonging to South Africans was also broken into by protesters. A video being circulated on social media showed them carting away large quantities of goods while police officers shot in the air and tried to disperse them.

Eko Traffic Radio had also reported that the MTN Office at Bode Thomas, Surulere Lagos has been set ablaze, while Stanbic IBTC ATM machines were all broken, with security men injured.

There were also reports that the road leading to Adeniran Ogunsanya Surulere was under and the Police was shooting teargas to disperse protesters. Apparently, the protesters were trying to set DSTV on Bode Thomas on fire.

In Akure, Ondo State, a Shoprite outlet was forced to shut down over fears of a possible attack by angry youths in the city. 

Scores of youths had besieged the popular mall to register their anger over attacks on Nigerians and other African migrants in South Africa.

The angry youths chanted solidarity songs for several hours and tried to force their way into the facility but were prevented by security personnel at the shopping complex.

XENOPHOBIA: Senate Chief Whip, Kalu Calls For Retaliation On South Africans, Says “Arrest Not Enough!”

The Chief Whip of the Ninth Senate , Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has condemned the attacks meted out on Nigerian people in South Africa, calling on all Nigerians to stand firm and retaliate rather than waiting on the South Africans to fish out the perpetrators, Igbere TV reports.

Kalu , a two – time Governor of Abia state in a statement issued by his Media Team on Tuesday said “the gruesome killings, looting, arson of properties belonging to Nigerians and attack of Nigerian Embassy in South Africa is ill-conceived , disheartening and wicked .

“How can any sensible

person attack and burn a fellow human being just because he or she has a feeling to do so ? Those mindless criminals who attacked and prevented law abiding Nigerians to freely conduct their businesses must be made to pay for their crimes. Arresting them is not enough “ He decried

Reports show that over 70 shops/businesses were destroyed, looted and burnt on Monday night in Malvern area of Johanesburg.

Kalu questioned the essence of the renewed attack on Nigerians adding that South Africans in Nigeria have always lived and conducted their businesses in peace .

According to him , “if the South African government do not do more to protect the lives of Nigerians , there should be no reason to allow them to operate freely in Nigeria. All their enterprises deserve to be closed down including MTN, DSTV,Shop-rite among others . In the spirit of brotherhood, we have supported them. Our doors have always been opened but it’s time we retaliate by shutting our doors.” He said

The Senate Chief Whip while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for dispatching a special envoy to the South African government urged the federal government to hasten their intervention and institute stiffer measures against South Africa over the endless xenophobic attacks.

He added that the federal government should no long be patient on invoking the United Nations (UN) law on hate and all forms of xenophobic attacks against South Africa so as to make its government take the issue seriously.

Meanwhile, the President of the Nigeria Union South Africa, Mr Adetola Olubajo, said on Monday that the attacks began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown area of Johannesburg when a building was set ablaze by an angry mob.

“The mob also looted several shops that were around the vicinity suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.

“But the Police later dispersed the mob and made some arrest.

“Late in the evening of Sunday, Sept. 1, a group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers besieged Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg looted and burned shops and businesses with Nigerians being the most victims.

According to witnesses living on Jules Street, the Zulu hostel dwellers were very organised and well-coordinated in looting and burning of any shops/businesses suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.

Rep seeks end to Xenophobia attack in South Africa

Mr Dennis Idahosa, a member of the House of Representatives, has called on both the Nigeria Government and that of the South Africa, to urgently proffer solution to end the Xenophobia attack in South Africa.

He said the attack that have seen many Nigerians killed and their properties either looted or burned, is highly condenmable and would cause a strain in the relationship of the two counties of not checked.

Idahosa who is the Chairman, Legislative compliance committee, said the menace which has become a reoccurring thing, is not only an embarrassment to the two countries, but the entire Africa continent and indeed the World.

He said Nigeirans have been and will always be a good neighbours to South Africans leaving in Nigeria, and expect nothing short of that to Niegrians leaving in South Africa.

He urged the people of South Africa to remember the role played by the people and government of Nigeria during the Apartheid crisis.

According to him, “The unfortunate news of continued killing, looting and burning of properties of Nigerians in South Africa by few criminals elements in that country should be condemn by all.

President Muhammadu Buhari must as a matter of urgency, meet with his South African counterpart to put a stop to this ugly menace.

“South Africa must never forget that during the appathied period, Nigeria was there for them, we stood by them through thick and thing all though their trying period.

“South Africa governemnt should know that the cordial relationship that have always  existed between the Nations is not allowed  to be ruined by some few criminally minded individuals.

“If we cannot be our own brothers keepers in even Africa soil, then who will outside the shore of the continent. 

“The attack is not only shameful but barbaric, and should be condemned by all lovers of the two nation as well as lovers of peace.

FG summons SA High Commissioner over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

The envoy was expected to meet with the minister by 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
A senior MFA official, Kimiebi Ebenfa, confirmed the development in a WhatsApp message.

The message read, “I am directed to inform you that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has summoned the High Commissioner of South Africa for a meeting this morning by 11. The meeting was confirmed a few minutes ago.”

Onyema had said that the Federal Government would take “definitive measures” in the aftermath of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

He was, however, silent on the measures that would be taken over the increasing violence against Nigerians and other foreigners in the country.

He described the attackers as mindless criminals, noting that the police intervention was ineffective.

Onyeama said this on Monday on his verified Twitter handle in reaction to the burning of Nigerian property by South Africans in Johannesburg, Marvel, Turfontein and Jamestown, on Sunday night.

Onyeama had tweeted, “Received sickening and depressing news of continued burning and looting of Nigerian shops and premises in #SouthAfrica by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection. Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures.”

The latest attacks on foreigners in South Africa started last week after a taxi driver was murdered by an alleged drug dealer in Pretoria.

Speculations that the alleged killer was a Nigerian sparked protest, looting and burning of foreign-owned businesses.
The police had struggled to bring the attacks under control.

Our correspondent reported that Onyema was also scheduled to meet with his SA counterpart to discuss the escalating xenophobic attacks.