The Federal Government has called on its citizens not to attack South African companies operating in Nigeria, in retaliation for the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, made this call in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He described as deeply disturbing the reports that some Nigerians, angered by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, have started attacking South African companies in the country.
Mr Mohammed said targeting South African companies in Nigeria for attack was, for Nigerians, a classic case of “cutting off your nose to spite your face”.
He explained that this was because the investors in such companies, especially MTN and Shoprite, were Nigerians.
The minister noted that the majority of the workers in the South African companies operating in Nigeria were also Nigerians.
According to him, this means that it is Nigerian workers who will be hardest hit if such companies are forced to shut down for fear of attacks.
Mr Mohammed, however, gave assurance that the Federal Government was already taking decisive measures to put an end to the persistent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
“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,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.
He added, “Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, acting on the instruction of Mr President, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria to get a brief on the situation; express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and secure assurance of the safety of their lives and property.”