Nigerian youth, under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians against Xenophobia, on Thursday threatened to picket South African companies in Nigeria if the xenophobic attacks in South Africa is not stopped.
At a peaceful protest at the South African Embassy in Lagos on Thursday, the leader of the youth, Segun Tomori, described the attacks as uncalled for stressing that Nigeria and other African countries assisted the country during the apartheid.
“We are showing our dissatisfaction with the way our brothers and sisters are being treated in South Africa and we mean other Africans when we say our brothers and sisters,” Mr. Tomori told PREMIUM TIMES.
He said that it is unfortunate that South Africans consider other Africans “enemies of progress”.
“If they force our brothers out of their county, they should remember that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. We would not hesitate, not by force but progressive agitation to tell South Africans in Nigeria to leave”.
Mr. Tomori urged the South African government to address the issue squarely.
A representative of the South African high commissioner to Nigeria, Godwin Singari, said the South African government is not pleased with the attacks and would ensure it is brought to an end.
“I stand before you first as an African, secondly as a South African and at the embassy. We are deeply concerned about what is happening in South Africa and surely we would relay this letter to the South African authority. We are very sorry about what is happening in South Africa,” he told the youth.
More than 2,000 foreigners have been reportedly displaced while scores have died since the attack began.
The violence is reported to have been spurred by comments reportedly made by the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, who said foreigners should “pack their bags” and leave.
Mr. Zwelithini, has since claimed to have been misquoted by the media and has called for an end to the attacks.
South Africans involved in the violence blame immigrants for taking away their employment opportunities.
This is not the first time South Africans have targeted citizens of other African countries. In May 2008, scores of Africans were killed in another xenophobic attack.
The South African President, Jacob Zuma, has condemned the violence.