Protesters Storm MTN Head Office in Abuja in Retaliation to Xenophobic Attacks in S’Africa
In the aftermath of repeated xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa, protesters on Thursday attacked the head office of South African mobile phone giant MTN in Abuja.
An MTN spokesman told Reuters that equipments were vandalized as the irate youths could not be placated.
“They are protesting against the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa. It’s our regional head office in Abuja. That’s where we have our customer care centre,” he said.
“They vandalised equipment, stole customer phones and I-Pads. Some customers too were attacked.”
Reacting to the rare retaliatory attack, a South African government source described the situation, which coincided with the visit by MTN chairman Phuthuma Nhleko to the Nigerian capital to see Acting-President Yemi Osinbajo, as serious.
“This wasn’t just some people on the street throwing stones. They broke into the building and stole things and broke things,” the source said.
Responding to attacks on the shops, Nigeria’s foreign ministry said it would summon South Africa’s envoy to raise its concerns over “xenophobic attacks” on Nigerians, other Africans and Pakistanis in their country.
This is yet another manifestation of the tense relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, the continent’s two largest economies.
Earlier this week, Nigerians were targeted in widespread xenophobic attacks in South Africa that saw scores killed, and shops vandalized.
This prompted a strong response from the Nigerian parliament, which considered the latest attack one too many.
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