Some 116 Nigerians have been killed during xenophobic attacks in South Africa over the past two years, a figure that a government official has denounced as “unacceptable” to the government of the West African country.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, disclosed figures as he called on the South African government to take decisive and definitive measures to protect Nigerian citizens and other Africans within South African borders.
She equally called on the African Union to intervene urgently in the renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.
Her concern follows the Nigerian Community in South Africa, led by Ikechukwu Anyene, confirming the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.
Five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church have been looted and burned by South Africans, Anyene was quoted as saying.
Dabiri-Erewa, described the attacks as an “unnecessary setback.”
“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years. And in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed. This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” Dabiri-Erewa said.
She advised Nigerians to be extra cautious “as it looks like South African government seems to have no control over these attacks.”
She however, urged restraint on the part of Nigerians and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences.
Dabiri-Erewa two weeks ago met with South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Lulu Aaron-Mnguni on the killing of Nigerians in South Africa.
Aaron-Mnguni promised South African government was investigating the matter.