Separate groups of Nigerian youths in the early hours of today gave 48 hours ultimatum to South African companies operating in the country to protest the unchecked attacks of Nigerians in that country.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the National Youth Council of Nigeria are spearheading the youth’s organized protests.
NANS stormed the Abuja offices of a big South African companies, DSTV and threatened that students in all Nigerian campuses will within the expiration of 48 hours pull down MTN masts nationwide if the planned killings of Nigerian go on.
The NYCN in a letter signed by the President and Secretary of the council, Murtala Gamji and Gbenga Adedamola, and addressed to the South African President Jacob Zuma through the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr L L Mnguni, the NYCN described the molestation, harassment and killing of Nigerians as barbaric and inhuman.
Addressing youths who massed at the South African Embassy in Abuja, in a peaceful protest Gamji claimed that South African youths had secured a police permit to pour into the streets on Friday to protest against the domination of immigrants.
Gamji, who addressed hundreds of peaceful protesters at the South African Embassy in Abuja, said “the attention of NYCN has been drawn to the killing and maiming of Nigerians in your country.
“We want to say categorically that this is ugly, barbaric and inhuman and unacceptable to us and we will do everything within our power to resist it in totality.
“We have been good brothers to you for long and Nigerians do not deserve this ugly treatment in return.”
“At the expiration of the 48 hours, we would shut down all businesses belonging to South Africans in Nigeria.
“We, therefore, urge the South African Government to deal with the issue as a matter of urgency to avoid reprisal.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Wednesday demanded compensation for Nigerians whose properties were destroyed in the xenophobic violence that took place at the weekend in South Africa.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, who stated this in Abuja at a news conference on the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, said Nigerian lives should be protected.
During the march the students carried a banner, which read: ‘’NANS Against Xenophobic Attacks on Nigerians.’’
While the students marched, the security men stood and watched to ensure law and order.
The President of NANS, Mr Kadiri Aruna, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at DSTV office, a South African company, in Wuse 2, Abuja, that Nigerian students had resolved to condemn the attacks.
“We are saying that enough is enough as South Africans have openly attacked and bullied Nigerians.
“All the South African business empires in Nigeria and their collaborators in Nigeria will be affected.
“I don’t want to say we will be barbaric but we will not be lawful in our actions, we will do it and face the consequences, enough of this rubbish,’’ he said.
“The government of South Africa is criminally quiet and they say silence is consent, and their police are folding their hands while they are killing Nigerians, this is conspiracy, enough is enough,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Amb. Lulu Mnguni, High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria said that the attacks on Nigerians negated all the values that that country symbolizes, especially the respect for human life, human rights and human dignity standing firmly against racism, xenophobia and sexism.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, Mnguni condemned the recent attacks on Nigerians saying they were a poor representation of South Africa’s values.
“The South African government is specifically interested in addressing the alleged claims of illegal activities of undocumented migrants which have been raised by communities
“The police have been directed to work round the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens and to arrest looters and those committing these acts of violence.