Nigeria's minister of foreign affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, yesterday said the federal government will evacuate Nigerians resident in South Africa if the xenophobic attacks that broke out in the country on Tuesday get worse.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Wali explained that he had already held discussions with the country’s head of mission in Pretoria, South Africa.
According to him, Nigerians in South Africa have been advised to close their shops, stay at home, keep out of trouble and obey the laws of the country.
He stated that South African authorities have moved to take action that would forestall any further disturbance in the country.
According to National Mirror, he said that if the situation gets worse, Nigerian citizens will be brought home for safety, adding that no Nigerian would be allowed to be subjected to inhuman treatment.
Wali said: “With the discussions I have been having with Nigeria’s Head of Mission in Pretoria, no Nigerian has so far been affected.
“They informed me that they have called the Nigerian community and addressed them and told them to close shops, stay home and keep out of trouble and obey the laws of South Africa.
“They have also confirmed that the South African authorities have moved in to take actions that would forestall any further disturbance in South Africa.
“If it gets worst, it is the duty of our country to make sure our people are brought back, and we are taking that duty serious.
“We are not prepared to allow any of our nationals to be subjected to such inhuman treatment.
“We are not being reactionary because this is happening to all foreigners, not Nigerians alone. We are monitoring the situation and will now take action according to the situation that develops,” he concluded.
The attacks have escalated recently, with foreign-owned shops being looted and torched, while some foreigners have been burnt alive and others brutally assaulted.
Meanwhile, nearly 5,000 people joined a rally condemning xenophobia in South Africa’s Durban city after attacks on foreigners.