Protesters Shuts MTN Nigeria over Xenophobic Attacks

Civil Society protest xenophobic attacks


The xenophobc attacks in South Africa is eliciting protests against South African companies in other places in Africa

| By Maureen Chigbo | Apr. 20, 2015 @ 17:15 GMT |

MASSIVE protests against Xenophobic attacks on Africans in South African is likely to ground their companies in some African Countries. Already, on Monday, April 20, protesters forced the management of MTN to shut down their office as they staged anti xenophobic protest in the company premises for hours. Members of Edo Civil Society Organisations, EDOSCO, under the aegis of The Flagship which took the protests to MTN office in Benin City, Edo State, were protesting the unjustified killing of Nigerians and other Africans living in South Africa. They called on all Nigerians to boycott the products and services of South African companies in Nigeria

Prior to the protest, another group, the Due Process Advocates, DPA, last Sunday scalled for a boycott of South Africa companies alleging that it forwarded a letter to the South African High Commission in Nigeria, protesting the continued xenophobic violence in that country. “In our letter, we made it clear that the situation is intolerable and that counter measures seemed inevitable unless the violence was stopped. Unfortunately, rather than abating, the violence has spread to Johannesburg, which is where black immigrant business communities face the worst exposure. In the circumstance, we believe that the line has been crossed in terms of the failure or refusal of the South African Government to stop this violence and to protect the targeted class of victims.

“We are left with no further options at this time than to call for a nationwide boycott of South African businesses in Nigeria, and we expect this to happen in other African countries. The boycott starts with immediate effect. The South African businesses in Nigeria should feel our outrage for what is going on in South Africa, and they should send the right message to their home government. This is the first step in making sure that South African authorities to understand that the senseless violence that kills people just because they happened to be foreigners and of the black race at the same time is unacceptable,” DPA said.

It said: “We are taking this measure because we are convinced that the South African government is not doing enough to stop the violence. On the contrary, it would seem that the South African authorities are more interested in reaping political mileage out of the pain and suffering of the innocent black peoples of Africa. It is unfortunate that this is how the South African people would pay back for all that African countries did to defeat Apartheid and to put vagabonds like Jacob Zuma in office”.

The group called for a boycott of every South African business by customers and consumers and listed South African businesses to avoid in Nigeria to include Shoprite, MTN, “Stop loading airtime into your MTN lines – even if you continues to use the MTN to receive calls, do not top your airtime or your data plan. Reduce to the barest minimum your use of MTN services. If you can, you should transfer or port your MTN line to other careers,” it said.

The group also asked customers to shun DSTV or Multi-Choice advising them to not to subscribe to DSTV if they were planning to do so. “If you are already subscribed, do not renew. If you must for any reason continue the subscription, reduce your subscription to the barest minimum. Whenever you have an alternative shop or services provide that is not South Africa, go that the non-South African business”.

It urged people not to making bookings at Protea Hotels. There are many other hotels. So, there is no need whatsoever to use Protea Hotels. It advised against patronising any other business in Nigerian owned by South Africans. “Shun any South African business in Nigeria. Do not let South African business take your money when South Africans are killing your brothers and sisters in South Africa”, it said.

“Even if you are not a Nigerian, you understand that this one way to get the Government of South Africa to understand that it does pay the country for the Government to sit down idly and watch as blacks from other African countries are slaughtered like animals in their streets, cities and townships. If for any reason you cannot completely avoid a South African business, do everything you can to reduce the degree to which you patronise them to the barest levels of necessity,” the DPA said. The Due Process Advocates said that it would call for a protest match in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt stating on Monday April 20.

Nonetheless, Martin Cobham, Nigerian acting high commissioner to South Africa has ruled out the possibility of immediate evacuation of citizens from the nation that has seen days of xenophobic attacks in different provinces. He said it was a bit too early to consider the option of evacuation of Nigerians, calling for calm, despite calls by Nigerian for the evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa.

“I will not want to subscribe to an immediate evacuation. We want to look at this thing on three phases – the lower threat, middle threat and the higher threat. We can only tell our people; for now, abide by the hosts laws, avoid areas of imminent clashes and violence and work in concert with local authorities to ensure that peace reign,” Cobham said.

On Saturday, April 18, President Jacob Zuma canceled a planned state visit to Indonesia in order to attend to the lingering issues of xenophobic attacks in some provinces. Also, the chief executive officer of South African Tourism has condemned categorically the appalling xenophobic attacks taking place in the various locations in our country, saying it was an embarrassment and shameful.


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