The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has given the South African Government 72 hours to stop xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans resident in the country.
NANS President Tijani Usman conveyed the ultimatum during a protest march by the association against such attacks on Tuesday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that NANS had on April 18, issued a seven-days ultimatum to the South African Government to end the attacks.
The students who had placards with the inscriptions “Say no to Xenophobia’’; “Xenophobia is Evil’’; “South Africa, Enough is Enough’’, marched to the MTN office and the South African High Commission both in Maitama.
“The purpose of this protest is to register our grievances and solidarise with our people in South Africa because of the xenophobic attacks; Africa is our own and we should not be racists in our own continent.
“We condemn such acts and we call on President Jacob Zuma of South Africa to address this issue with immediate effect, otherwise South Africans in Nigeria will not find things easy here; we will make sure they are deported back and we will shut all their businesses.
“This is a signal; we are giving them 72 hours to stop all attacks; if they fail, they will face the wrath of Nigerian students.’’
Usman appealed to the United Nations to call the South African Government to order, adding that it seemed not to have taken any serious action to address the problem.
Also speaking, Mr Nwankwo Ezekiel, the NANS Public Relations Officer, told NAN that the protest was to drive home the earlier ultimatum given to the South African Government.
“In our statement earlier, we gave seven days but today, we want to register our grievances so that in the next three days, we will shut down all South African investments in Nigeria, if the attacks are not stopped,’’ he said.
NAN reports that it took the timely intervention of a team of policemen led by the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr Wilson Inalegwu, to quell the brewing tension at the MTN office as some students were becoming unruly.
Inalegwu told NAN that that the students had the right to protest but were expected to conduct themselves properly.
He said he had to come down to the MTN office personally when we received a report that the students were trying to conduct themselves otherwise.
“I had to come here personally and I thank God that their president was able to lead the students out of the premises peacefully.
“We have deployments in other South African establishments and I have spoken with their president and I expect him to conduct himself properly,’’ the commissioner said.
The students also took their protest to the South African High Commission.