The South African diplomatic Mission have announced the closure of both their High Commission in Abuja and Consulate in Lagos for fear of reprisal attacks following the Xenophobic attack incidents in their country.
The SA acting High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, disclosed this to newsmen this morning saying that he had directed the Mission to suspend all consular activities till further notice. He attributed the directive to the reported incident of attcak of South Africans and their business interest in Nigeria following the break out Xenophobic attack reprisals in various Nigerian cities.
In his words; “I directed that the Mission should be closed until the situation improves. We heard that South Africans were being pulled out of vehicles and attacked. We feel unsafe and that is why I directed that the mission should close down until further notice.”
When told that the police had beefed up security to prevent retaliatory attacks, the envoy said the Mission would remain closed because he did not want to take chances.
Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has called on the residents of the Territory, especially students and youths, not to carry out retaliatory attacks on South African nationals and business interests in the FCT over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
He said that the Federal Government was already exploring diplomatic channels to address the issue, appealing that residents should allow the efforts to succeed.
Bello in a statement further noted that the South African business interests in the FCT were set up in partnership with Nigerian investors and were contributing to the economic development of the city.
“Attacking or vandalising them will ultimately have negative economic consequences for the Nigerian economy and employees of those organisations,” the minister said in the statement by his media aide, Anthony Ogunleye.
He also assured South African nationals and business interests of their safety, adding that it was the pleasure of the Administration to have them living and working in the FCT.
While appealing to residents to remain calm and go about their lawful activities, he warned that law enforcement agencies had been mobilised to forestall any breakdown of law and order and “anybody instigating or participating in any acts of violence or vandalism will face the wrath of the law.”