The Committee of Youth on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS) on Tuesday appealed to youth and students’ organisations in Nigeria to refrain from further planned picketing of South African businesses in Nigeria over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in their country.
The committee’s Director-General, Obinna Nwaka, who made the appeal in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, however, condemned the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had on August 8, picketed three South African companies, including MTN, to protest the frequent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The other companies picketed were MultiChoice DSTV and Stanbic IBTC. The protesters had carried placards with different inscriptions such as “Nigerian students can no longer keep quiet while South Africans kill Nigerians” and “All South African business interests must leave Nigeria.”
No fewer than 127 Nigerians have been reportedly killed in various dimensions of xenophobic attacks in South Africa over the years.
Nwaka described South African xenophobic attacks on fellow Africans as unpleasant and doesn’t represent the Pan-African philosophy of late Nelson Mandela.
“While appreciating Nigerians for their concerns over the attacks, we call on youths and students’ organisations to stop taking laws into their hands by picketing South African businesses like MTN, DSTV and other organisations,” he said.
Nwaka warned about the consequences of any attempted reprisal attacks, saying such would increase violence, crime and worsen the unemployment situation in Nigeria.
He however, implored the South African government to adopt proactive measures to end the killing of Nigerians and ensure peaceful coexistence between citizens of both countries.
On ‘#RevolutionNow’ protest, Nwaka, noted that the organization condemned the act in its entirety and urged groups, students and youth bodies to desist from supporting undemocratic and unpatriotic activities.
He appealed to the federal government to temper justice with mercy and release the arrested protesters along with their leader, Omoyele Sowore.
Nwaka said that “the demand of Sowore for better governance is good, but his approach would have resulted to a national embarrassment and distraction to governance.”