The Lagos State Government and Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture have reacted to the attacks on Shoprite outlets in Lagos State. The attacks occurred at Shoprite Complexes located in Jakande and Sangotedo Area of Ajah, following the destruction of properties belonging to Nigerians in South Africa.
The State Government condemned the attacks, advising Lagosians to distance themselves from violence and any unlawful acts. According to the State government, such attack is against the culture that Nigerians are known for.
The tension between Nigerians and South Africans intensified after the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) gave South African businesses 7-days to stop operation and leave Nigeria in August over violent attacks being experienced by Nigerians in South Africa. The issue was later settled when Abike Daibiri-Erewa, the chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission intervened.
However, the matter took another turn some days ago when a Nigerian was reportedly killed in his home by some South African police officers.
Also, a few days after the incident, videos of burnt cars and other properties belonging to Nigerians and other African citizens in South Africa were circulated. This led to a reprisal attack on South African businesses in Nigeria yesterday, September 3, 2019.
Speaking on behalf of the Lagos Statement Government, Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said in a statement, “The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to the attacks on Shoprite Complexes at Jakande and Sangotedo Area of Ajah by some unidentified people claiming to be acting in retaliation against the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
“These attacks are condemned as they are against the Nigerian spirit of accommodation and benevolence that the country in general and Lagos State, in particular, is noted for.”
“The Federal Government is in dialogue with South African Authorities to stop this obnoxious act. We appeal to our compatriots to eschew violence and any unlawful acts. The Lagos State Government wishes to reiterate its commitment to providing a conducive atmosphere where businesses are conducted without hindrances.
“The security agencies have been directed to ensure that law and order prevail in all parts of the State, even as Lagosians are advised to go about their activities without any fear.”
More so, Lai Mohammed said the attack on Shoprite and MTN was an attack on Nigerians because the businesses have Nigerian investors.
“Targeting South African companies in Nigeria for attack is, for Nigerians, a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face because the investors in such companies, especially MTN and Shoprite, are Nigerians.”