The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked Nigerians attacking businesses perceived to be owned by South Africans in Nigeria to allow the Federal Government to handle the matter diplomatically.
The Congress, in a statement by its President, Ayuba Wabba said some of the businesses thought to belong to South Africans were actually owned by Nigerians.
Reacting to the wave of xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa and retaliatory attacks in Nigeria against investments owned by South Africans, the NLC president condemned “the attacks on businesses and killings of Nigerians by South Africans in South Africa.”
“These attacks and killings are beastly and unacceptable.”
He noted that the frequency and escalation of these attacks are not only reprehensible but are capable of undermining the illustrious bilateral relations between the government and people of Nigeria and government and people of South Africa.
“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, for in reality, some of those businesses are owned by Nigerians,” Waba said.
“We therefore appeal to Nigerians to leave this matter to the Nigerian government which has acted properly by despatching an envoy to South Africa to express its displeasure as well as table its demands.”
He said the South African government squarely should be held responsible for failing in its duty to protect or safeguard the lives and properties of foreign nationals, especially Nigerians who have been subjects of attacks over time.
“Accordingly, we demand an immediate end to these killings and destruction of properties.”
“We demand for appropriate compensation and an assurance that this will never happen again not only to Nigerians but all foreign nationals in South Africa.”