The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has debunked media reports that students are being mobilized for a protest against xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
According to reports, the protests have been scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 23, 2017, in major cities in Nigeria.
But in a statement by the NANS National President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, the student body said its attention has been drawn to “a plan by enemies of harmonious student unionism and academic progress of Nigerian youths to mobilize students for the purported protest and condemned all forms of discrimination on foreigners.
Comrade Obasi, not only condemned the plan but pointed out that calling students out for a mass protest when they were preparing for semester examinations did not augur well for their academic and social health. Hear him;
“Moreover, it behooves of rascality to mobilize students for street protests or even to stampede South Africa firms doing business in Nigeria, especially the MTN, MultiChoice among others, when there is no evidence linking the firms to the obnoxious attacks in South Africa.
“As a responsible students’ union, we believe that there is sanity in the saying that no two wrongs can make a right. In the language of Michelle Obama, the wife of the former United States President, Barack Obama, when they go low, should go high.
“Therefore NANS urges those planning to protest the violence in South Africa with violation of peace and freedom in Nigeria to mount the high moral ground of civility against the barbaric attacks on aliens in South Africa.
“We are informed that Nigeria and other countries have begun diplomatic efforts to ensure that the Xenophobe attacks do not go further.
“It is our belief that the South African authorities should do all in their power to curtail the excesses of its misguided citizens that may want to vent their frustrations on law abiding citizens of other countries in their nation”.
More so, members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
The lawmakers urged the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to recall the country’s ambassador to South Africa ahead of a major anti-Nigerians rally planned for Friday.
Last week in Pretoria and Johannesburg, hoodlums launched fresh xenophobic attacks on foreigners which seemed especially targeted at Nigerians.
The Nigerian Union in South Africa (NUSA), confirmed that no less than ten homes, shops and even churches belonging to Nigerians were affected. Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora Affairs, further disclosed that Nigeria has lost 116 lives to xenophobic violence within the last two years.
In what now seems like routine killings of Nigerians and destruction of their property in South Africa, the general Nigerian populace is being incited at reprisal attacks here in Nigeria and no less than the 122 South African companies and communities who are flourishing in Nigeria may suffer if proper action is not taken by the South African government.
Consequently, many other African countries have called on the South African government to protect foreigners in the country, and compensate victims of these attacks accordingly.