Following continuous reprisal attacks by Nigerians in response to xenophobic attacks in South Africa, many people have reacted to what they have all generally agreed to be very unfortunate.
It could be recalled that the attacks in South Africa angered many Nigerians who stormed various outlets of Shoprite, while calling for a boycott of South African businesses operating in Nigeria.
For instance, some Nigerians as a result of anger on Tuesday invaded an outlet of Shoprite along Lekki-Epe expressway in Lagos State.
Unfortunately for a protester, he was shot dead by the police who operated around the Circle Mall, Jakande in the Lekki area of Lagos. Also within the same period, some other angry rioters set a police van ablaze.
In his angry reaction, Fela Durotoye, the Presidential candidate of Alliance for New Nigeria, was not happy that Nigerians have been attacking businesses in Lagos and some other parts of the country over xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Durotoye through his Twitter page warned Nigerians to stop all forms of reprisal attacks, stating that those businesses which were being looted and destroyed were run by Nigerian employees and Nigerian-owned franchise of a South African brand, describing the murder of a protester as meaningless and an unnecessary push for hoodlums to destroy properties in the country.
According to him, “In anger and retaliation, Nigerians in Nigeria are destroying Nigerian buildings owned by Nigerians and built by Nigerian artisans.
“Nigerian bystanders are cheering Nigerians looters stealing products produced in China and imported by Nigerian businessmen with loans from Nigerian banks. The products were meant to be sold to Nigerians by Nigerian employees of a Nigerian-owned franchise of a South African brand
“In Jakande-Ajah Lagos, a Nigerian youth protesting how Nigerians are being mistreated in South Africa is shot and killed by a Nigerian police officer
“This senseless murder drives angry Nigerian hoodlums to start destroying cars owned by Nigerians, stealing phones and harassing other Nigerians bystanders. Can anyone help me make sense of this?
“Really, who is losing out in all this? Let each one, enlighten the other.”
Also reacting, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), urged the Federal Government to adopt urgent measures to end xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The Labour Congress, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, also warned against unreasonable retaliations by Nigerians residing at home.
The President of NLC, Mr Ayuba Wabba, is of the regrettable opinion that the attacks had become too frequent and advised the federal government to take decisive action to end the indiscriminate assault on Nigerians in South Africa and every other nation in the world.
According to him, “The frequency and escalation of these attacks are not only reprehensible but capable of undermining the illustrious bilateral relations between both countries.
“However, as despicable as these attacks are, we will advise against crude retaliatory measures such as the burning down of perceived South African businesses in Nigeria because, in reality, some of those businesses are owned by Nigerians.
“We appeal to Nigerians to leave this matter to the Nigerian government which has acted properly by sending an envoy to South Africa to express its displeasure as well as table its demands.”
Wabba finally accused the South African government of being responsible for failing in its duty to protect lives and properties of foreign nationals, especially Nigerians, who have been subject of attacks for a long time.
Also while reacting, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Wednesday advised South African nationals and their businesses in Nigeria to leave the country on or before Monday or face consequences.
The Student group led by its National Public Relations Officer, Adeyemi Azeez, stormed Lalubu street, Oke Lewo, located within the Central Business District of Abeokuta, the state capital, to protest against the xenophobic attacks.