Xenophobia: Kwara Mall Opens For Business Under Police Watch
MUJAHID SAFODIEN VIA GETTY IMAGES

Normal business activities have resumed at the Kwara Mall, home to South Africa’s Shoprite, Ilorin on Wednesday after police took over the edifice on Tuesday evening.

Concise News reports that the Kwara Police Command deployed its personnel to secure the facilities and prevent a reprisal attack on presumed businesses owned by South Africans.

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Shoprite is a South Africa retail company operating in Nigeria as well as other African Countries.

The security presence followed the killing of Nigerians residing in South Africa.

According to NAN, shop owners at the mall were told to close their shops latest 8:00 p.m to prevent hoodlums from looting the mall.

One of the shop owners, who preferred anonymity, said that the low presence of Police at the facility would not scare customers away.

He said Nigerians protest was supposed to be against the government and its lack of decisive action not against businesses that benefit the people.

“You burn and loot properties of South African businesses forgetting that they are insured and it is Nigerian insurance companies that will pay for it,” he said.

Police beef up security in Enugu

The Police Command in Enugu State has beefed up security in the state over possible reprisal attacks by residents of Enugu and its environs on South African businesses.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Ebere Amaraizu, told NAN on Wednesday in Enugu that the command had increased patrol in the state especially within Enugu metropolis.

Amaraizu said that the command had also deployed more policemen to locations where South African owned businesses exist in the state.

“The increased patrols and deployment to strategic locations of some businesses is to ensure that nothing untoward happen.

“The command is also appealing to residents not to take the law into their hands.

“But we expect that all will be law abiding even as the Federal Government is currently doing something on the development,’’ he said.

The spokesman reminded residents that those working at these South African business concerns within the state were their brothers and sisters.

There had been increased police personnel and other covert security personnel deployed to Shoprite Mall along Enugu-Abakaliki Road; MTN office in Zik Avenue and Multi-Choice office along Ogui Road among others.

This is to curtail retaliatory attacks following xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African nationals and their businesses by South Africans in South Africa.

Police beef up security at Shoprite in Nigeria’s capital

As well, the Nigerian Police on Wednesday beefed up security presence around Shoprite Lugbe, along the airport road Abuja.

The Federal Capital Territory Police Commissioner, Bala Ciroma sent special force to forestall any reprisal attack.

According to NAN, some residents of Abuja were already gathering in their numbers to attack the Shoprite in an attempt to revenge the ill treatment of Nigerians in South Africa.

Speaking on a radio programme, Ciroma said that the police had already deployed a significant number of its security personnel to curtail any reprisal attack.

When NAN visited the mall, some stern looking policemen were already on ground to quell any reprisal attack by the mob.

It would be recalled that some Nigerians on Tuesday in Lagos also staged a protest at Shoprite premises along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, which caused huge traffic gridlock.

The protesters called for a shutdown of all businesses that are owned by South Africans in the country.

Also on Tuesday some Nigerian laid siege on an outlet of Shoprite located inside Circle Mall in the Jakande area of Lagos State.

The attacks on Nigerians in South Africa angered many Nigerians who have been calling for a boycott of South African businesses in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had sent a special envoy to the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to register his displeasure over the killing of Nigerians in South Africa.

Buhari expressed deep concerned about reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa.

Also, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the attack on Nigerians by South Africans was unfortunate, adding that Nigeria and Nigerians invested a great deal in the pulling down of apartheid.

He said that the acts of xenophobia were contrary to the ideals that South African leaders, including incumbent president, fought for and for which many gave their lives.