Xenophobia: Police shield South African Investments from attacks in Oyo

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The Oyo State police command on Wednesday took over all South African investments in Ibadan, the state capital.

This follows the attack visited on the MTN business centre at Bodija, by irate youths who set the outlet ablaze.

Our correspondent who went round the Ibadan business district at Dugbe observed heavy presence of security operatives at Shoprite, Dugbe; Palms Mall which is the biggest Shoprite in Nigeria, on Ring road; the MTN zonal office, also on the same road; the Stanbic IBTC banks, including their ATM galleries and the Multichoice.

Confirming the heavy deployment of anti-riot officers and others, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Gbenga Fadeyi who confirmed the attacks stated that “all South African investments in the state had been properly secured.”

On ‘Think Oyo platform’, a relative of one of the victims, according to a message shared by Derin Omowon, concerning killings in South Africa, said, “what’s terrible with reprisal attacks from Nigerians?

“Should I send you a video of how my brother’s electrical shop on small street in Johannesburg was looted and his wife burnt to ashes?

“Since our government won’t say or do anything, let everything about South Africa be destroyed, we have been in tears since Monday in my family,” he stated.

Another guy consoling the bereaved, wrote: “take heart my dear. Last July, about two months ago, I personally survived by whiskers from the murderous J’burg boys.”

Also speaking about the attack on MTN office at Bodija, a Commander of the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Agency, Ayoade Adeoye stated that the men of the traffic agency arrived the scene of the incident at about 10:30pm on Tuesday when it got the information of the attack on the MTN building.

According to him, “some people on motorcycles were said to have arrived at the building and were asking the security men on duty some questions which they were unable to respond to.

“They, then descended on them and beat them. They came with can of petrol which they used to burn the building.

“The police and other security agencies were here with us. We have been here since that time ensuring that there is no traffic problem as people come down here to see what has happened”

Punch correspondent who was at the scene saw some of those working in the office expressing shock and were making phone calls. They refused to speak with the press but were facially depressed.

A man who had come to MTN to retrieve his SIM card which he claimed was stolen the day before expressed disappointment. “I was not aware that something like this has happened. I was coming down to retrieve my line because my phone was stolen yesterday. I am shocked to see this now”

An on-air personality, Adedeji Ademola said Nigerians should consider other approaches other than violence.

He noted that the building that housed the MTN building belonged to a Nigerian who along with other Nigerians working in that office have become victims.

“We may decide to boycott their services. Stay away from buying from them and allow government to step up diplomatic relations. Doing this (burning) is not good for the livelihood of Nigerians who are already pushed below poverty level.”

The Commissioner of Police in the State, Shina Olukolu had earlier warned reaidents to desist from any planned protest.

Olukolu in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, Gbenga Fadeyi, said that ‘the attention of Police in Oyo State, has been drawn by credible sources that some aggrieved Nigerians have perfected plans to carry out coordinated attacks on South Africa economic interest in Nigeria including Shoprite etc.

“The faceless organizers are advised to desist from this planned dastard act as it is an ill wind that will blow no one any good.

“The police in Oyo State wish to seize this opportunity to appeal to the aggrieved citizens for calm and allow the government to use diplomatic means to resolve the logjam.”

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