The Chief Whip of the Ninth Senate , Dr Orji Uzor Kalu has condemned the attacks meted out on Nigerian people in South Africa, calling on all Nigerians to stand firm and retaliate rather than waiting on the South Africans to fish out the perpetrators.
Kalu , a two – time Governor of Abia state in a statement issued by his Media Team on Tuesday said “the gruesome killings, looting, arson of properties belonging to Nigerians and attack of Nigerian Embassy in South Africa is ill-conceived , disheartening and wicked .
“How can any sensible person attack and burn a fellow human being just because he or she has a feeling to do so ? Those mindless criminals who attacked and prevented law abiding Nigerians to freely conduct their businesses must be made to pay for their crimes. Arresting them is not enough “ he decried.
Reports show that over 70 shops/businesses were destroyed, looted and burnt on Monday night in Malvern area of Johanesburg.
Kalu questioned the essence of the renewed attack on Nigerians adding that South Africans in Nigeria have always lived and conducted their businesses in peace .
According to him , “if the South African government do not do more to protect the lives of Nigerians , there should be no reason to allow them to operate freely in Nigeria. All their enterprises deserve to be closed down including MTN, DSTV,Shop-rite among others . In the spirit of brotherhood, we have supported them. Our doors have always been opened but it’s time we retaliate by shutting our doors.” he said
The Senate Chief Whip while commending President Muhammadu Buhari for dispatching a special envoy to the South African government urged the federal government to hasten their intervention and institute stiffer measures against South Africa over the endless xenophobic attacks.
He added that the federal government should no long be patient on invoking the United Nations (UN) law on hate and all forms of xenophobic attacks against South Africa so as to make its government take the issue seriously.
Meanwhile, the President of the Nigeria Union South Africa, Mr Adetola Olubajo, said on Monday that the attacks began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown area of Johannesburg when a building was set ablaze by an angry mob.
He said: “The mob also looted several shops that were around the vicinity suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.
“But the Police later dispersed the mob and made some arrest.
“Late in the evening of Sunday, Sept. 1, a group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers besieged Jules Street in Malvern, Johannesburg looted and burned shops and businesses with Nigerians being the most victims”.
According to witnesses living on Jules Street, the Zulu hostel dwellers were very organised and well-coordinated in looting and burning of any shops/businesses suspected to be owned by foreign nationals.