Nigerian government reacts to ‘quit notice’ to citizens by South Africans
The Nigerian government on Thursday said reports of a quit notice given to Nigerians living in South Africa to depart the country by June 16, 2017 or face dire consequences were totally false.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sola Enikanolaye, said the ministry was unaware of any threat to Nigerians living in South Africa, adding that the mission in South Africa was yet to report any of such to the ministry.
Similarly, Acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Martin Cobham, advised the public to ignore the news which may strain the relations between Nigeria and South Africa.
Cobham, however, said that the mission would “investigate the matter and report accordingly to the appropriate quarters”.
President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Ikechukwu Anyene, had in a statement, noted that two communities in Johannesburg had issued quit notices to Nigerians to leave over allegations of dealing in hard drugs, as well as luring young girls into prostitution.
It said Nigerians had until yesterday to leave the place while the Klaafontein community, Extension 5, Johannesburg, also directed landlords not to renew the rent of Nigerians in the area.
Anyene said the grievances of the South Africans were that Nigerians were responsible for some social vices such as illicit drug trade and prostitution and they blamed every crime in the country on Nigerians, even when it was clear that they were not committed by Nigerians.
Anyene narrated how a Ugandan man allegedly raped a girl in Kwazulu Natal Province and was described as a Nigerian in the media just to make it seem as if the man was a Nigerian.
“The Nigerian Union held series of meetings with the affected communities as well as police and local authorities on the recent threats to Nigerians.
“We have also written reports on these incidents and sent to the Nigerian Mission and the South African police.
“We recommended interventions before the June 15 deadline to the mission and we are waiting for their response. The union is worried that any incident involving non-South Africans are attributed to Nigerians. There have been sustained media propaganda against our people,” he said.