Xenophobia: South African clothing store looted in Lagos

Hoodlums taking advantage of the ongoing outrage against the treatment of Nigerians in South Africa have looted an outlet of a major South African clothing retailer in Lagos.

The Surulere, Lagos, store of clothing and accessories dealer, PEP, was looted by Nigerians on Tuesday evening.

Videos and pictures of the looting were circulated by several users on Twitter Tuesday night. PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately ascertain the specific outlet of PEP that was attacked, but the background indicated it was the one along Bode Thomas Road.

The police have been responding to multiple attacks targeting South African businesses across Nigeria on Tuesday.

Other South African businesses, including retailer Shoprite and telecoms giant MTN, have been targeted in Lagos, Ibadan and Akwa Ibom.

Although the businesses are of South African origin, most of their workforce in Nigeria are Nigerians.

Many Nigerians have also bought into the businesses.

The recent disclosure of MTN Nigeria ownership structure showed many Nigerians were part owners of the company.

It was not immediately clear whether PEP has reacted to the development. A spokesperson could not be reached for comments.

The looting of PEP comes moments after the police in Lagos told PREMIUM TIMES they had intensified security arrangements at all South Africa-affiliated businesses across the commercial capital.

Soldiers have also been deployed to volatile scenes like the Shoprite outlet in Lekki, Lagos, to prevent them from being looted or set on fire.

Targeting of South African businesses only escalated on Tuesday after Nigerians on social media waged their collective rage over the deadly xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.

Dozens of Nigerian properties and businesses were targeted in Johannesburg, Pretoria and other parts of South Africa over the past week.

The police in South Africa said five deaths were recorded and at least 70 suspects have been arrested in the brutal rampage against foreigners in that country.

President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, have sued for calm amongst their respective citizens as a lasting solution is being explored.

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Mr Buhari on Tuesday afternoon sent a special envoy to South Africa as part of immediate response to the escalating row.

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