By Adetutu Folasade-Koyi
Less than a week after a high-powered Federal Government delegation left South Africa, to mediate in Xenophobic attacks in that country, five Nigerians were, yesterday attacked in Polokwane, Limpopo Province.
Secretary of The Nigeria Union in the province, Collin Mgbo, confirmed the attack.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria on telephone, yesterday, that three, of the five Nigerians attacked, were in critical condition in hospital. “I received a call that a Nigerian was attacked at Ivy Park in Polokwane, on March 15. I got to the scene and saw that the Nigerian was almost dead; his house was looted and burnt,” Mgbo said.
He added that another Nigerian was also attacked in the same neighbourhood, same day and that while he got to the scene, the mob left the wounded man and descended on him.
“They left the wounded Nigerian and faced me. They destroyed my car and I managed to escape and ran to a police station.” He also said three Nigerians, including the owner of a mechanic garage, were attacked at Moledji, near Polokwane. “Their shops and houses were looted, vandalised and destroyed. The local chapter of the union has reported these attacks to the South African police, the Nigerian Mission and national secretariat of our union. I do not know if they will survive because of the severity of the attack.”
Mgbo urged the Federal Government to persuade its South African counterpart to ensure safety of Nigerians in their country. Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olusola Enikanolaye, said the ministry had not been briefed about the incident.
Last month, property worth millions of dollars, belonging to Nigerians, were reportedly destroyed in South Africa.
Last week, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, his Interior counterpart, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, a delegation from the House of Representatives met with the South African parliament on ways to curtail the attacks.