Few weeks ago, the a report made the rounds, suggesting that over a hundred Nigerians have been killed in South Africa, within two years.
The Federal Government had asked the South African Government to investigate and punish those involved in the killing of a Nigerian in Johannesburg in December last year.
It also called on Pretoria to end extrajudicial killings, criminalisation of immigrants and xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who visited the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, in Abuja on Tuesday 7th February sought assurances that xenophobic attacks against Nigerians by South Africans would be stopped.
Her visit was sequel to the killing of a Nigerian, Tochukwu Nnadi, in December last year by South African police officers.
Nnadi was choked to death for allegedly dealing in hard drug.
Dabiri-Erewa complained that over 116 Nigerians were killed within two years in South Africa. She said 63 per cent of the extrajudicial killings were carried out by the police.
She expressed sadness over the criminalisation of Nigerians by South Africans, noting that Nigeria and South Africa should rather be engaging in cooperation that could lead to social-economic development as the ‘two giants of Africa.’
Dabiri-Erewa – President Muhammadu Buhari’s senior special aide, has dropped hints that Nigeria may consider reprisal over renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The adviser said the country’s patience was being tried with the renewed attacks and has also called on the African Union (AU), to prevail on the South African government, to “take decisive and definitive measures to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans within that country’s borders.”
In a statement made on Monday, February 20, the presidential aide decried the renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.
Dabiri-Erewa said the Nigerian community in South Africa, led by Ikechukwu Anyene, has confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday. She quoted Anyene as saying that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police.
“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church, have been looted and burned by South Africans”. She said the attention of the AU was being called upon to intervene because there is credible information that more xenophobic attacks against foreigners will take place between February 22 and 23, 2017.
Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an unnecessary setback and advised Nigerians to be extra cautious.
She also urged restraint on the part of Nigerians and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences.
Dabiri-Erewa had, two weeks ago, met with the South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Aaron-Mnguni, on the killing of Nigerians in his country who promised to investigate the matter.
“We have lost 116 Nigerians in the last two years and, in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed. This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” she told Aaron-Mnguni.