Protest in Nigeria over South African xenophobic attacks

Say No to Xenophobia Protest in Abuja

Nigerians in Abuja, the nation’s Abuja, on Monday registered their grievance over the continued xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa by marching on the South African High Commission.

The protesters carried placards that read: “We have showed Africans and South Africans love, why are they attacking us?”; “#SayNoToXenophobia”; “Stop the killings, South Africa Act Now!”; “We are Africans”; “Stop attacking and killing fellow Africans in South Africa”; “Why are they killing fellow Africans and destroying their businesses?”; “Foreigners are not responsible for your joblessness, stop the killings now”.

Deji Adeyanju, one of the organizers of the protest, told PREMIUM TIMES that some of his friends in South Africa told him they were afraid to come out of their homes.

Mr. Adeyanju said one of them, who works in an automobile company, said some of his neighbours in South Africa were wondering what they were still doing in that country.

“We also feel the plight of fellow Africans and foreigners who feel this same way,” Mr. Adeyanju said. “We use the opportunity to call on the South African government to act now.

“We are more concerned about the South African government stopping the violence.”

He said it was worrisome that some pictures distributed on various social media platforms showed South African police officers abating the attacks on foreigners in their country.
He said there must be a call to order.”

Mr. Adeyanju said while many others have called for the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa, he feels differently about that proposal.

“Evacuation may not be 100 per cent,” he said. “There are Nigerians married to South Africans and many have kids too; we don’t want a bad precedence to be set.

“We are also trying to ensure that whatever we do or whatever fellow Africans do, they are mindful of the fact that their citizens are also living here in Nigeria and other parts of Africa; so South Africa cannot afford to be an enemy of the African continent.”

Another protester, Tolu Ebo said, “They have to stop it (xenophobia) now. The South African government cannot tell me that they don’t know the people that are involved in these acts. Their faces are all over the place. Why have they not been brought to book.

“This is not how we play diplomacy. No! They have to stop this and they have 24 hours to stop this.”

Before stating their mission to the commission’s representative, the protesters sang Nigeria’s national anthem in a show of solidarity.

The commission’s political secretary, Sthembiso Shongwe, representing the South African High Commissioner, said his country was working hard to end the attacks.

Mr. Shongwe was advised by the group to give a firsthand situation report on efforts by the South African government to stop the attacks and killings of other Africans in South Africa.

Mr. Shongwe said to the best of his knowledge, 84 people had been arrested since the violence erupted.

He said it was unfortunate the attacks were happening but assured that the South African government was doing everything possible to put the situation under control.

“These attacks, they are not acceptable because we are brothers and sisters but I can assure you that the government is serious in bringing this under control,” Mr. Shongwe said.


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  • Danladee

    If South Africans are hard working, nobody will take away their jobs. They are just bunch of lazy folks seething with rage over the success of migrants, and no country every progresses without foreigners.
    All they specialize in is drinking umkomboti and partying.

  • Tokunbo Pole

    I strongly disagree with the term “xenophobia”it is better to use the word “segregation” because the attack is not on all foreigners but Africans alone.Asians that are working in offices in SA are the ones to be attacked not Africans that majority of them are self-employed.People needs to go there and see.The South Africans give more respect and honour to the Asians than their fellow African brothers that assisted them to get freedom.It is the Asians that dominate Durban and they always go back home to go and bring workers even unskilled workers instead of them to give the job to their host country.As a reference,the Asians in Nigeria are doing the samething.They are Tax evader and they always go back to their country to go and bring workers.Instead of creating jobs in Nigeria for Nigerians they are creating jobs for their own people.I am sure that if care is not taken the same will happen in Nigeria too.All our oil field has been taken over by Asians.The South Africans are not supposed to attack Africans but instead the Asians that does not contribute anything to their freedom.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    Any serious-minded person should stop and make a rethink of this South African issue. This is not the first time this spate of killings is happening in that country; and each time it was usually, as it is now, Africans that took the heat of the massacres. At the end nothing happened as nothing will happen after this one that shall give way to another massacre in the future. If anybody says these murders are not instigated by some people in high authority in that country, then such a thinker must be thinking very wrongly. The fact that the police just watch and do nothing when these murders are being committed just buttresses the point that the South African high authority is complicit and encourages these dastardly acts. The reason given to the effect that the foreigners take the jobs of the South Africans is just nonsense. What jobs are we talking about here? Have the foreigners gone to the various offices, banks, government and private institutions of South Africa to displace these South Africans? The people being butchered are just self-employed foreigners doing their private businesses that have nothing to do with anybody’s job elsewhere! The government of South Africa has to make a clean breast of what is happening in that country; all these sing-songs that we are all brothers and sisters should be consigned to the dustbin.

    So this throws up the question: what are these African migrants still doing in South Africa? Don’t tell me that you have a right to travel to other parts of Africa to do business because the situation has told you plainly that you don’t have that right; and that is what South Africa is saying by conduct. So why remain in South Africa, if you are not wanted there? Is anybody saying that without doing business in South Africa one would never make it in life? When South Africa was under the Apartheid enclave did Nigerians and, indeed, other Africans travel there to do business? Were these Africans starving at that time? So why do Africans of today think they would starve if they did not go to do business in South Africa?

    As far as I’m concerned, the doors of South Africa are now closed to other African countries. This is the unfortunate message the South African government is sending via these skirmishes. Though the government of that country would not come up openly to make such a declaration but the writing is all over the place. Any African going to South Africa to settle is just doing that at his/her own risk. If your various countries do the constitutional jobs of evacuating you from that country, just lick your wounds and find something else to do in your own country. It’s unfortunate but you cannot go to war with South Africa or attack South Africa over this issue. Leave South Africa for the South Africans. Period. That is what South Africa wants!

    • newnigerian1970

      Thank you for your common sense.

  • larry Thomas

    Please let us use this opportunity to stop the investment of this South Africans in nigeria ,they reap us of large amount of money for fraudulent services ,can’t nigeria business men come together and come up with better services than mtn ,Dstv ,shopprite .now that we need to stop relying on oil and start diversifying into other sectors ,I will plea with new goverment to look into this urgently, because after all investigation you will find out that nigeria’s company and investors are not been giving business opportunities to make as much as the South Africans are making here in Nigeria ,if not for greedy and short sighted leaders that invited them into nigeria because of their South African friends and their pocket at list they have now made a lot of money let them go and let nigerian’s now start building their economy internally ,please I will make a call for all Nigerians to loud this suggestion and tell the people that are relevant to making the suggestion a reality. We can have a lot of less previlege nigerian to be employed and the profit can be used inside nigeria .tddevelop our country God bless Nigeria .

    • Otile

      Leave the Zulus, Bushmen and Hottentots alone. They practicing what Najeriyan criminal haters like Gowon, Danjuma, Awolowo, Adekunle, and Fashola taught them. How many Nigerians have condemned these beasts and murderers?

      • Hola

        all i realized you doing here is to attack other tribes like Yoruba and Hausa, what about worse leaders from Igbo land? you are hypocrite. Serious issue concerning the whole nation is on the table but your dumbass is so into local chat because you think you are at risk in Lagos now. To all i know whenever you are in foreign land or region behave polite to locals and people of the region so that it will be well with you in the land. The reason this is different from whatever Yorubas and Igbos are facing in Lagos is that, the locals attacked the foreigners, being that the foreigners are peaceful and not rebellious even in the course of the attack. So get this into your head, Its different battle here and the only way out is to plead with the locals’ government to stop the killing because the locals have all the authority and jurisdictions over their land and you can only control situation concerning your region or land.

        • Otile

          The logic of some Yorubas like you is no logic at all. How can you say that other Nigerians living in Lagos are foreigners? There are many Odua people living in PH and feeding fat, we don’t call them foreigners. When they have some quarrels with Igbo, Ogoni, or Ijaw. We do not move to drown all Yorubas in the Atlantic ocean, we understand that human beings are bound to have disagreements even among siblings. Yoruba ronu, gbo.

  • Rommel

    If someone is not wanted in your country,why killing and looting their property? does seem like the problem with the Zulu has more to do with avarice,laziness and outright criminality.

    • Otile

      That kind of behavior whether in Arewa, SW or KwaZulu homelad has to do with avarice, laziness and outright criminality.

      You got it right General Rommel.

  • Chukalex

    Is this the best way for these south African hoodlums to repay Nigeria for supporting their successful fight for liberation from apartheid? Now, they have the strength to ‘bite the same finger that fed them’. Big lesson for Nigeria! Ofcourse, I will never regret helping to abolish that inhumane treatment called ‘apartheid’. Nigeria did very well and God help them for so doing. Now, where is the conscience of these ‘hoodlums’? I saw a most horrible video of a toddler (maybe about 9 year old) both hands tied) being sprayed with kerosine, and then lit with fire and burned alive and with him screaming as he burned! I am a victim of burn in a fiery motor vehicle accident to about 40% of my body with varying 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns and (my oh my !), the experience is so horrible that you would not even wish it on your own enemy”. Oh God of mercy has this world degraded or deteriorated to such a low level of existence? Is this what South Africa and South Africans want to be associated with? Is this what they want to be known for? Where were these hoodlums when foreigners were sacrificed their comfort and resources to assist them in fighting apartheid? Where are the Mbekis, the Zumas and many other well-thinking and well-meaning South Africans and leaders, and Humanity? Where is the African Union? Genocide is occurring in South Africa right now as we speak! It is not enough to just condemn these barbaric acts. These should be followed with strong security response where perpetrators are brought to book and severely punished (even) with capital punishment. If affected countries decide to retaliate, South Africans abroad in these countries could be in trouble. I pray that nothing of that nature ever happens. There should be no room for or reason to allow or encourage such a heinous behavior to occur! Help us God. President Zuma, please show us responsible African leadership! Mandela, Mandela, Mandela, we sure do miss you! May God the Father Almighty save humanity from its wickedness and may the soul of the departed victims of this genocide rest in peace! Amen.

    • Otile

      Do you see how hatred turns humans into demons. See why Ndigbo are sensitive to Nigerian and Zulu haters? Do you see why Ndigbo remember criminal haters such as: Yakubu Gowon, Yakubu Danjuma, Jeremiah Awolowo, Raji Fashola, and now the Islamic Oba of Lagos with horror?

  • newnigerian1970

    I’d like to see protests against Sabon Garis in northern Nigeria. Their existence is xenophobia of a sort.

  • Otile

    Arewa and Yoruba people are arch hypocrites. Don’t they hound non-Arewa and non-Yorubas from the North and Lagos? Did President Shagari not almost drown Ghanians into the Lagoon when chasing them back to Gold Coast? Is the Islamic Oba of Lagos not planning to drown Igbo people en mass in Lagoon? Did Alhaji Fashola not pack Igbo people into trucks and almost drowned all of them in River Niger, Biafra?

  • Lemmuel Odjay

    Xenophobia in Nigeria is going to make that of South Africa against Nigerians, some of whom are Yorubas, look like a picnic. The South Africans struck less than a week after I’d advised my cousins named “Yoruba” and “Proud Yoruba” against raking up tribal mud motivated by political intolerance on this forum. How does it feel to be at the receiving end of such destructive hate propaganda against fellow blacks? Ours, as diligently pursued by “Yoruba” and those blind followers of his would be worse because it would not be between blacks and blacks only but that between compatriots. Are they learning any lessons from South Africa? Or are they boiled hard in their bile they would rather continue to run around like the three blind mice in the popular children’s nursery rhyme?

    • Hola

      what are you talking about, Nigerians and other nations were been attacked in South Africa. for all i know you didnt fight for the right of your country people over there, you are online criticizing someone that took a step, shame on you. At least Nigerians in South Africa are not fighting for political post or rebellious against the people of land before the attack. If Yoruba have to be fair with what you just said about them now, Yoruba need to attack you first and chance people like you out of Lagos. I am proud of people that were in this protest, it was peaceful and their messages were not rebellious, so other tribe have to learn how to be peaceful like Yorubas and stop the envy. I know if Igbo are the organizers of this protest, many people will get injured because Igbos love to show how physically strong and mentally retard they can be every chances they get. So should learn from this Xenophobia, even though foreigners are legal and free to stay in a region, always know that there are some locals and they have the authority to evacuate you.

      • Lemmuel Odjay

        Did you read my article again? Those Nigerian protesters you referred to did not even cross my mind as I wrote. In my opinion, such acts of terrorism (because that is what it is) should be discouraged from coming to life in the first place. Is there no way of bringing all to live in peace other than fighting battles? Look around and tell me, where has war ever restored permanent peace? According to our fathers, it’d take just a moment of madness to destroy what sanity would take years to rebuild. Believe me, if that terror unleashed by those thoughtless South Africans on their FELLOW Africans is being considered SHAMEFUL today, tell me, how would you consider that between compatriots? It would be far worse because it is going to be between two countrymen and women among whom peace, love and trust once reigned, who shared one destiny. All I am after is that people, particularly compatriots should find a way to stay together. And by the way, why in your opinion, must every one who stands up against the doomsday scenario as is now been hatched by some of us here, be considered non Yorubas or Igbos? Did you think every Yoruba agrees with your opinion? Pray you don’t witness what terror tribalism is capable of causing. Nobody ever emerges the winner. Suru lo ju. If we look hard enough, we’d find there are other ways to live together in peace because violence of this nature cuts across both sides as my Yoruba cousins also live outside Yoruba land. If that is their preference, why should I expose them to great danger from my comfort zone in Lagos?