THE National Working Committee (NWC) of Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) urged the Federal Government to nationalise all South African companies in the country.
APC National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole, who briefed reporters after the meeting of the NWC, said the South African government was nonchalant.
He said: “We have discussed the attacks on foreigners in South Africa, particularly blacks who are predominantly Nigerians. Having listened to all the explanations from the authority in South Africa, we have come to the conclusion that these people are not being accused of being illegal immigrants nor are they involved in any illegal activities.
“Those who have business permits to set up businesses, whatever business theyare involved in, they are operating within the letters of the law. Over the last one year, virtually every week, Nigerians are being wasted in one part of south Africa or the other.
“We know that the government has had conversation with the South African authority, drawing their attention to these and other abuses that Nigerians have been subjected to. But the escalation of the attack on foreigners which include Nigerians has reached a level that is no longer tolerable.
“At one time, people wonder whether these attacks have the backing of the south African government. What has been clear over the period is that the South African authority has not demonstrated sufficient commitment to bring these attacks to an end.
“Inspite of the fact that the lives of many people have been wasted, not one South African is known to have been convicted ad sentence to prison for their role on the attack on foreigners, killing them and looting their businesses.
“We have been able to watch some of the comments on the recent attack, particularly the one that was made by a deputy Minister of Police Affair that not only endorse the killing and looting of foreign businesses, but refer to the activities of those foreigners who are into legitimate businesses as tantamount to economic sabotage.”
He added: “As we speak, while South African government is envious of the small businesses which Nigerians are involved in south Africa, South African companies are making billions of dollars from Nigeria and repatriating same out of Nigeria.
“For example, MTN is making huge profit, including sometimes breaching our national laws. South Africans cannot be envious of small businesses over there while their business giants are smiling to their foreign banks where they keep profit that the repatriate from Nigeria.
“We are aware that not too long ago, MTN was enlisted in the stock exchange and some Nigerians have bought shares from MTN. I think that in moments like this and too send strong message to the south African authority and their people, it is worth it for the Nigerian government to take over the remaining shares of MTN that are owned by south African so that MTN become fully Nigerian own.
“While government think of how to deal with this, I think that in our individual capacities, this is the moment to show our commitment to our fellow citizens and show sympathy to those who have lost loved ones by boycotting South African goods and services, beginning with Nigerians refusing to use MTN services.
“Happily, we have indigenous networks like Glo, ntel and 9 mobile. But if Nigerians decides, at least for the next 30 days as a first step, to stop using MTN, they would have sent a clear message and pay befitting tribute to the life of those whose live have been wasted in South Africa. This will be more elegant rather than our people going to the streets and throwing stones against fellow Nigerians and a life being lost in the process.
“This should also give us opportunity to reflect n why we should continue to allow DSTV to continue to repatriate millions of dollars to South Africa every year arising from their activities in Nigeria.”
The Ooni of Ife Adeyeye Ogunwusi and the Catholic Bishop of Minna Diocese, Most Reverend Martin Uzuokwu, on Thursday urged South Africans to stop the attacking foreigners, especially Nigerians, as the act could endanger peace on the continent.
Oba Ogunwusi described the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa on Nigerians living there and their properties as a shameful act that is unacceptable to the black race in Africa and in the Diaspora.
The traditional ruler also advised Nigerians alleged to have embarked on reprisal attacks on South African companies in Nigeria to stop it and allow peace to reign.
The monarch spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“This attack is a shame on the black people, we all need to come together and see ourselves as one. The more we propagate our cultural ties across the continent, the more we will see and recognise that we belong to one big family,” he said.
The traditional ruler said that African countries only had artificial boundaries that had given a geographical expression of names to countries inhabited by of a group of people but all of us are of the same lineage.
“We must erase the ongoing xenophobic killings in Africa, we only have artificial boundaries. We are all the same whether Nigeria or South Africa.