The Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians not to attack the South African businesses operating in Nigeria in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
In a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammrd said that targeting South African businesses in Nigeria, like shoprite and MTN, for attack over Xenophobia would hurt Nigerians more.
He said attacking South African companies in Nigeria was, for Nigerians, ‘a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face”.
According to the minister, the investors in such South African companies in Nigeria, especially MTN and Shoprite, are Nigerians.
He said the majority of the workers in the South African companies operating in Nigeria are also Nigerians.
“This means that, Nigerian workers will be hardest hit if such companies are forced to shut down for fear of attacks,” he said.
Mohammed, described as “deeply disturbing” the reports that some Nigerians, angered by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, had started attacking South African companies in Nigeria.
He assured Nigerians that the Federal Government was already taking decisive measures to put an end to the persistent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
He added: “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 Mr 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 secure assurance of the safety of their lives and property.”