Xenophobia attacks reprisals: MTN, DStv shut down, deploy heavy security in Anambra

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as Nigerians react at Buhari’s docility

From Chuks Collins, Awka

The rising spate of reprisal attacks on the MTN and other businesses with substantial South African interest in parts of Nigerian cities over the sustained criminal xenophobic attacks on Nigerian citizens in South Africa has forced the GSM communication giant to shut down.

They have also deployed intimidating number of heavily armed security men round all these offices, despite being closed.

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A visit to MTN and DSTv retail outlets, including those owned by their Nigerian agents in Awka, Nkpor, Onitsha, Nnewi, Ihiala and Ekwulobia presented similar picture of precautionary business shutdown.

This, according to one of the top MTN officer in Awka who gave her name simply as Uche, was to discourage anything untoward against their staff, facilities and installations.

She revealed that almost all their workers are Nigerians, whereas equally substantial part of these businesses were owned and managed by Nigerians who only secured the franchise of MTN. But that mob attacks are often spontaneous, unconscionable and without deep consideration.

According to her, once one passer bye whether as a joke, frustration or kicks throws the first stone, others, especially hoodlums may cash in on it. And before any help could come it would have snowballed into a conflagration of massive and widespread violent attacks.

An Ihiala-based lawyer and housewife -Mrs Ada Omah-Chukwuma whose husband is in South Africa for the past twenty-three years said she was so scared about the safety of the spouse after watching the horrible videos and pictures on social media and cable television.

She charged the Nigerian government to “rise up to the occasion for just once, this time so as to bring the regular mindless attacks, killings and looting of property/businesses of Nigerians and other nationals in South Africa to an end.

Mrs Omah-Chukwuma bemoaned what she saw as lousiness and docility of the Nigerian government in responding swiftly and in most strict manner to South African government and other African nations like Ghana where such selective attacks against Nigerians when it first began few years ago.

In her views, if the Federal Government had taken decisive action of sending the Ambassadors of such nations home “for briefing” as they say in diplomatic language, no such bloodletting would reoccur or emulated anywhere else again.

While not supporting the reprisals in Nigeria, she admitted that it was just a way the participants felt instantly, having found out that the blood of Nigerians apparently means nothing to President Muhammadu Buhari and his handlers. She said that if she could, she would join, if only to show how bad she feels towards the South Africans.

A retired civil servant Dr Magnus Nwodu who now lives in his Ogidi countryhome recollected how the Nigerian Government staked the comfort, welfare, resources, diplomatic sagacity to see that these South Africans attained freedom from the white-backed apartheid era. That Nigeria led nations of the world to boycott world games, international meetings/conferences, harboured notable South African nationalists like Nelson Mandela, gave citizenship to enable them travel the world for their voices to be heard when it mattered most.

Dr Nwodu believed that since most people at the corridors of power today are not lettered and apparently do not read or listen to news reports, it was not surprising that they do not understand all that are happening around them let alone in far away countries where citizens of Nigeria are being mistreated and killed without consequences.

He also blamed the government of South Africa for not doing anything or enough to prevent, discourage or protect foreign nationals from these sustained barefaced evil and criminal attacks that sometimes saw even security officers actively participate or intentionally look the other way while it occur.


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