President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has dropped hints that Nigeria may consider reprisal over renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. Dabiri-Erewa said the country’s patience was being tried with the renewed attacks and has also called on the African Union (AU), to prevail on the South African government, to “take decisive and definitive measures to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans within that country’s borders.”
In a statement, yesterday, the presidential aide decried the renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.
Dabiri-Erewa said the Nigerian community in South Africa, led by Ikechukwu Anyene, has confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday. She quoted Anyene as saying that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police.
“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church, have been looted and burned by South Africans”. She said the attention of the AU was being called upon to intervene because there is credible information that more xenophobic attacks against foreigners will take place between February 22 and 23, 2017.
Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an unnecessary setback and advised Nigerians to be extra cautious.
She also urged restraint on the part of Nigerians and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences.
Dabiri-Erewa had, two weeks ago, met with the South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the killing of Nigerians in his country who promised to investigate the matter.
“We have lost 116 Nigerians in the last two years and, in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed. This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” she told Aaron-Mnguni.