The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has given 48 hours ultimatum to all South African companies in Nigeria to relocate over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.The students gave the ultimatum at a peaceful demonstration at some South African companies in Abuja on Thursday.During the march the students carried a banner, which read: ‘’NANS against Xenophobic Attacks on Nigerians.’’While the students marched, the security men stood and watched to ensure law and order.
The President of NANS, Mr Kadiri Aruna, said at DSTV office, a South African company, in Wuse 2, Abuja, that Nigerian students had resolved to condemn the attacks.“We are saying that enough is enough as South Africans have openly attacked and bullied Nigerians.’’ Aruna said that the protest would also serve as a warning to other countries trying to underrate Nigerians.He said that after 48 hours, if nothing was done, messages would be sent to students in all university campuses to bring down MTN masts all over the country. Aruna said that DSTV and Shoprite would also be affected as the union had put adequate strategies in place to make the action effective. “All the South African business empires in Nigeria and their collaborators in Nigeria will be affected.
“I don’t want to say we will be barbaric but we will not be lawful in our actions, we will do it and face the consequences, enough of this rubbish,’’ he said. Aruna stressed that the poor treatment being meted out to Nigerians was particularly insulting given the role Nigeria played in ending the apartheid regime in South Africa. “Nigeria contributed 80 per cent of the freedom the South Africans are enjoying today because we saved them from the jaws of apartheid. Who is South Africa to humiliate Nigeria? So they forget things so soon, let them go back to history and records to see how much financial assistance and what the country did to save them,’’ he said.
The union president said that the situation was inhuman and for this reason all reasonable Nigerians must react. “In science they say you use malaria to cure malaria, now you use madness to cure their madness, and that is why we are advising them to leave Nigerian soil before 48 hours.’’
He said that the Federal Government should not wait till the dying minute before evacuating Nigerians from South Africa. Aruna said it was time for government not to only condemn the attacks but take a firm stand by summoning South Africa’s high commissioner and if possible cut diplomatic ties with that country.
“Government should take extra-diplomatic measures in dealing with the latest deadly assaults because if nothing drastic is done it will become a regular occurrence. “This is the time to place South Africa where it belongs,’’ he said.
He said that the last time the xenophobic attack happened nothing was done, no action was taken and no arrest was made and that was why South Africans repeated the attacks. Aruna said it was so unfortunate that during the attacks the South African Government refused to take up its responsibility of securing Nigerians and their properties.
“The government of South Africa is criminally quiet and they say silence is consent, and their police are folding their hands while they are killing Nigerians, this is conspiracy, enough is enough,’’ he said. He said the peaceful rally would continue and spread across the country.
Over 50 police and, DSS operatives surrounded the DSTV premises and along the street making it impossible for newsmen to contact any DSTV officials for comments.
Meanwhile, in a related incident, MTN office in Abuja was vandalized. A MTN staff who was in the premises when it happened said the staff scurried for safety while the attack lasted for some minutes before the intervention of security operatives.
“I just heard people running then I started running to hide and by the time we came out after the security operatives chased them out, they have packed all the laptops we used to work, all the phones on display for sale, they broke some computers and took people’s personal phones and money,” the staff who pleaded anonymity said.
The source added that cash were also taken but the amount could not be ascertained at the moment.
“They got into the premises, the windscreen of a car was broken , all the doors from the reception to the personal service were destroyed,” the staff said adding that the vandals were chanting xenophobia songs even after they were chased outside the premises by security operatives.
When contacted the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Manzah Anjuguri said he has not been briefed on the incident.
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