Xenophobia: South Africans Plan Ambush For Returning Nigerians

Some Nigerians in South Africa yesterday raised alarm that foreigners will be target of attacks today in different parts of the country.

To avoid being caught in the web of the attacks, they have started sending text messages to other Nigerians resident in the country to be alert, saying the South Africans planned to even search cabs and buses for foreigners to be killed.

The alarm came as President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered evacuation of Nigerians resident in South Africa who are willing to return home from tomorrow.

This is even as Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, told the Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non-Governmental Organizations yesterday that 640 Nigerians in South Africa have voluntarily registered to return home.

One of such messages sent to our correspondent by a Nigerian who preferred to remain anonymous read: “Hello everyone, just wanted to pass this message for us all to be careful against tomorrow (today), as we have just been briefed by a friend from Ntuzuma that tomorrow (today) is going to be terrible in Durban.

“Locals will be checking all the taxis to find foreigners… So be alert and be careful. Pass this message to all your friends and family members to caution them about tomorrow (today). If possible, no one must make a move to town tomorrow (today). If you must go out, first wait and watch. What happened in Johannesburg was just a joke. Thanks for your understanding. Be warned.”

Responding to some of the text sent to Nigerians in South Africa and other blacks asking them to leave with immediate effect, the Nigerian Consul-General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, told Vanguard on phone last night that those messages were not authentic.

By Henry Umoru, Olasunkanmi Akoni, Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Victoria Ojeme & Rotimi Ojomoyela

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