…Warns against destroying Nigerian investments in the name reprisal
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Godfrey Onyema has begged Nigerians aggrieved over escalating xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa to halt the ongoing destruction of businesses and investments of South African interests across Nigeria.
He said the Nigerian Ambassador in South Africa, is likely to return home to give a one-on-one state of affairs to President Muhammadu Buhari and that the Federal Government remains resolute in pushing for adequate compensation for all businesses and properties so touched in the wave of the attacks.
Whereas aggrieved Nigerians have continued to visit certain South African business interests in reprisal attacks, statistics have shown that even though the investments may look like South African businesses, many Nigerians own strong shares in the companies.
For instance, investigations showed that whereas the largest shareholders of MTN Nigeria and stakes remain MTN International (Mauritius) Limited with 76.08% stakes and Stanbic IBTC Assent Management Limited with 9.64% stake, the rest shares and stakes are owned by Nigerians.
Other stakeholders with their shares are as follows; Victor Odili-Stake: 3.96%, Mobile Telephone network-Stake: 2.75%, Government Employees Pension Fund-Stake: 1.75%, Pascal Dozie-Stake: 1.67%, Sani Mohammed Bello-Stake: 1.3%, Babatunde Folwawiyo-Stake: 1.07%, Gbenga Oyebode-Stake: 0.89%, Mallam Ahmed Dasuki-Stake: 0.75%, and Kari Olutokun Toriola-Stake: 0.005%.
Meanwhile MTN Nigeria has shut down all outlets across the federation to limit anticipated level of destruction and attacks even as peace process between Federal Government and its South African counterpart rages.
There were also reports of violence on other South African interests especially, Shoprite in Abuja, Ibadan and Lekki axis.
The mobs were expressing their angst and anger over the Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa that led to several deaths and destruction of their business
In Jakande, it was reported that a policeman shot a man dead; which has further fired anger as they have vowed to burn Shoprite.
Already, a police van was set ablaze and other cars touched around Shoprite outlet in Jakande, Lekki area of Lagos State.
However, earlier in the week, the Presiding Officers of South African Parliament, led by National Assembly Speaker Ms Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces Chairperson, Mr Amos Masondo, noted with serious concern the ongoing sporadic violence characterised by tensions between South African communities and foreign nationals in certain parts of the country.
A statement issued by the Parliament on the matter read in parts: “The violence, which is driven by communities on both side of the tension, have entailed disturbing trends of lawlessness, assaults against our law enforcement officers, retaliatory attacks and looting of shops, amongst others. All these acts of criminality are an antithesis to the rule of law and democracy, and threaten our country’s culture of tolerance, peace and coexistence.
“The Presiding Officers have appealed for calm amongst these communities while urging our country’s law enforcement agencies to spare no effort in stopping the mayhem and restoring peace and stability. The law enforcement agencies must act with decisiveness and boldness in ensuring that any lawbreaker is brought to book regardless of nationality.
“The Presiding Officers have also appealed to leaders from various sectors to assist in providing the necessary leadership in quelling the disorder, including acting circumspectly in their public comments.
“Much has been said about our country’s excessively porous borders and the influx of undocumented foreign nationals. While South Africa continues to be a welcoming nation to foreign nationals, illegal immigrants make the state’s Constitutional obligation which is to prevent, combat and investigate crime; maintain public order; and to protect and secure all those who live within its borders difficult to fulfil.
“Accordingly, relevant authorities and law enforcement agencies are urged to step up their efforts to curb this phenomenon and take appropriate steps regarding those living illegally in the country.
“An urgent meeting between the Presiding Officers and the relevant oversight committees of Parliament will be called to determine a parliamentary intervention on the ongoing violent tensions in the country.