By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday in Kaduna in protest of uncontrolled xenophobic attacks in their country, shut down South African owned big businesses.
Notable among those affected are MTN and owners of DSTV, Multi choice.
As at time of filing this report, the protest was still ongoing.
NANS’ Director, Travels and Exchange, Mr Dominic Philip, explained in Kaduna that the step was necessary to curb further attacks, looting, destruction and mindless killings of African nationalities, particularly Nigerians in South Africa.
Philip recalled that Nigeria had contributed morally, financially, diplomatically and logistically to the agitations that eventually led to the emancipation of South Africans from white’s domination.
The NANS official also said that African countries led by Nigeria, helped in the institutionalisation of black majority rule in South Africa in 1994.
According to him, NANS will no longer align with Nigerian Government diplomatic approach, which is cosmopolitan and reconciliatory on the issue.
“Available record has shown that the levels of attacks on Nigerians is on astronomical rise, with the recent killing of Nigerian by South Africans, on July 20 increasing the number to 118 in the last two years.
“Out of this number, 13 were reportedly killed by South African Police in an extra-Judicial manner.
“It appears that the South African government is incapable of bringing their citizens to order and stop the killings, leaving us with no option than to picket South African businesses in Nigeria until the killing is stopped.
“We, therefore, want the South African government to investigate and provide accurate number of Nigerians so far killed and prosecute perpetrators of xenophobic attacks to ensure justice for the victims.
“We equally want the government to generate data of all Nigerians, whose properties were bunt or looted for immediate compensation.”
Philip said that NANS equally demanded that all South African businesses in Nigeria be closed pending sufficient proof that Nigerians living anywhere in South Africa were safe and allowed to do their businesses freely.
It was still unclear if it was an isolated protest or if same is taking place simultaneously across the country.
It was however, gathered that the students expect the premises to remain sealed for seven days to force South African authorities to take decisive action against perpetrators of xenophobic attacks.