Xenophobia: Protesters Storms Abuja Shoprite, Burn Billboard, Tyres
Shoppers outside the main entrance of a Shoprite outlet in Kano, Nigeria. – ©AFP PHOTO / AMINU ABUBAKAR

Some Nigerian protesters on Wednesday stormed a Shoprite mall in Abuja to protest against Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, Concise News report.

The protesters, who appear to have been prevented by the police from attacking the mall, burnt tyres and a billboard along the Abuja-airport road.

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Concise News learned that their actions have generated gridlock on the Abuja-airport expressway.

Shoprite, a retail shopping outlet of South African origin, has been a major victim of retaliatory attacks by Nigerians.

This news medium had earlier reported how Shoprite malls and MTN offices were attacked in Lagos, Ibadan and Kwara on Tuesday.

However, the federal government on Tuesday night cautioned Nigerians against retaliatory attacks.

Reacting to the incidents, Information Minister Lai Mohammed said attacking South African companies in Nigeria was, for Nigerians, ‘a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

According to him, the investors in such South African companies in Nigeria, especially MTN and Shoprite, are already Nigerians.

The Information Minister further said the majority of the workers in the South African companies operating in Nigeria are most Nigerians.

“This means that Nigerian workers will be hardest hit if such companies are forced to shut down for fear of attacks,” he said.

He described it as “deeply disturbing” the reports that some Nigerians, provoked by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, had already started attacking South African companies in Nigeria.

Muhammed reiterated that the Federal Government has already taken decisive measures to put an end to the repeated xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

The minister said: ”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, Geoffrey Onyeama, acting on the instruction of President, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria to get a brief on the situation.

“Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and security assurance of the safety of their lives and property,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the attack, calling for the intervention of the African Union (AU).

Concise News understands that the Presidential Aide on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Abike Dabiri-Erewa said this on Monday.

There were viral videos on Monday which showed widespread attacks on Nigerians and their businesses in South Africa.

According to the President of the Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) Adetola Olubajo, 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,” he told NAN.

“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/businesses.”

He added that “some businesses owned by foreign nationals were looted in Germiston on Sunday evening. A Nigerian-owned Internet Café and computer accessories business was among the looted shops in Germiston.

“When I got the sad news late yesterday (Sunday) evening, I immediately informed the Police in Jeppestown but lots of damage had been done already.

“The means of livelihood of people were looted and destroyed by fire overnight which has left many Nigerians traumatized.

“Nigerian-owned businesses were seriously affected. A car sales business owned by a Nigerian were among the several businesses set ablaze over the night.”