The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene, on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to help halt the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country.
Anyene on phone from Pretoria, South Africa, said that the latest spate of xenophobic attacks began three weeks ago, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)reports.
There are more than 800,000 Nigerians living in South Africa. Anyene said Nigerians resident in some South African cities had gone into hiding to avoid being attacked by South Africans. “The Nigerian government should urgently intervene and save our people from the attacks. They should prevail on the South African government to stop such attacks against Nigerians. It appears nothing is being is done to stop the attacks and Nigerians are worried about the situation,’’ he said.
Anyene said during the attacks in Johannesburg last week, shops owned by Nigerians were looted and their owners seriously injured by the attackers.
He said the Nigerian Union in South Africa had been in touch with local chapters in some provinces and had urged them to take precautionary measures to save themselves.
Anyene said that since Nigeria and South Africa established diplomatic relations, there had not been a single incident of xenophobic attack against South Africans living in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian government protects the lives and property of South Africans living in Nigeria. We do not understand why from time to time, South Africans attack Nigerians in their country. The Federal Government should take the issue of xenophobic attacks in South Africa very seriously because Nigerians do not carry out xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans,’’ he said.
Nigerians living in Durban, he said, had planned a protest march against the xenophobic attacks. He, however, said they were denied permit by the South African police.