More notable Nigerians have continued to react strongly against the xenophobia in South Africa, as well as the reprisal attacks against MTN and Shoprite in Nigeria. Tweeting earlier this morning, the former Chairman of Forte Oil Plc, Femi Otedola, said he was upset after watching innocent lives senselessly murdered in South Africa. Apart from condemning the “hateful discrimination and xenophobia”, the businessman also prayed for those who have lost loved ones in the attacks.
My heart cries for my Nigerian brothers and sisters who have been senselessly killed in South Africa. I strongly condemn this hateful discrimination and xenophobia. I pray for us to come together as a continent to fight this injustice …F.Ote💲
— Femi Ote$ (@realFemiOtedola) September 4, 2019
Also reacting to the development is the Co-founder of Flutterwave, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji. According to him, the xenophobic attacks in South Africa justifies his earlier opinion that “there is literally no upside to doing business in Africa as an African.” He further argued that until Africans stop hating each other, progress on the continent would be impossible.
The other say I said there is literally no upside to doing business in Africa as an African. You will be more welcome as an American or European businessman. #SayNoToXenophobia
— E (@iaboyeji) September 4, 2019
The Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, was brief yet succinct in his reaction. According to him, Africans should learn to love, tolerate, and co-habit peaceably with one another. That’s the only way Africa’s developmental goals can be actualised, he said.
We are no different from one another. Nigeria and Nigerians showed great example in the past by uniting with the rest of the continent during difficult times. We must learn to love, embrace and live together in harmony to achieve our goals. ~ HW
— Herbert Wigwe, FCA (@HerbertOWigwe) September 3, 2019
Meanwhile, following reports that Nigerians have begun to retaliate by attacking South-African owned businesses in Nigeria, some notable personalities also spoke out in condemnation. Tayo Oviosu, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Paga, retweeted a video of a lady recounting her scary experience after she was caught up in the middle of one of the attacks at Shoprite, Sangotedo in Lagos.
Experienced this while going to work this morning, looters are still flocking Sangotedo Mall and Soldiers are not having it!!! They’re shooting non stop, bullets flying everywhere, a young man held a large stone to smash my windshield, he said “our people are dying, una dey work. pic.twitter.com/8s683ZmCoR
— lagosfoodseries😋 (@mehreet_) September 4, 2019
Also, the Founder of Beni American University, Gossy Ukanwoke, retweeted a series of tweets about people either condemning the reprisal attacks in Lagos, or those counting their losses following the looting at Shoprite. One of the retweeted posts was made by a lady identified as Lily Loveth. She complained about how her shop in Shoprite Sangotedo was looted with goods valued at millions of naira carted away by hoodlums.
This is what saddens me, that our security architecture could not predict and plan for this reaction from hoodlums, who seek the slightest excuse to rob honest businesses. We should have planned for better protection of obvious targets. https://t.co/ttT9TPopgT
— Akin Oyebode (@AO1379) September 4, 2019
In the meantime, the political and economic relationship between Nigeria and South Africa remains tense. This is despite the fact that both presidents of the two countries have condemned the attacks. Earlier today, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, addressed a press conference during which he said that Nigeria would be seeking compensation from South Africa over the Nigerian businesses in South Africa that were affected during the upheaval.