By Philip Yatai
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday closed the Kaduna office of South African Telecommunication giant, MTN, over xenophobic attacks and killings of 118 Nigerians in the last two years.
NANS’ Director, Travels and Exchange, Mr Dominic Philip, explained in Kaduna that the step was necessary to curb further attacks, looting, destruction and mindless killings of African nationalities, particularly Nigerians in South Africa.
Philip recalled that Nigeria had contributed morally, financially, diplomatically and logistically to the agitations that eventually led to the emancipation of South Africans from white’s domination.
The NANS official also said that African countries led by Nigeria, helped in the institutionalisation of black majority rule in South Africa in 1994.
He equally said that Nigeria played a big brotherly role by opening economic opportunities for South African citizens to invest in the Nigerian market, the biggest market in Africa.
Philip, however, noted with dismay, that instead of reciprocating the gesture, South Africa had allowed Nigerians to suffer all forms of discrimination, including murders and looting of their businesses.
According to him, NANS will no longer align with Nigerian Government diplomatic approach, which is cosmopolitan and reconciliatory on the issue.
“Available record has shown that the levels of attacks on Nigerians is on astronomical rise, with the recent killing of Nigerian by South Africans, on July 20 increasing the number to 118 in the last two years.
“Out of this number, 13 were reportedly killed by South African Police in an extra-Judicial manner.
“It appears that the South African government is incapable of bringing their citizens to order and stop the killings, leaving us with no option than to picket South African businesses in Nigeria until the killing is stopped.
“We, therefore, want the South African government to investigate and provide accurate number of Nigerians so far killed and prosecute perpetrators of xenophobic attacks to ensure justice for the victims.
“We equally want the government to generate data of all Nigerians, whose properties were bunt or looted for immediate compensation.”
Philip said that NANs equally demanded that all South African businesses in Nigeria be closed pending sufficient proof that Nigerians living anywhere in South Africa were safe and allowed to do their businesses freely. (NAN)