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Ruling party chair in Nigeria calls for boycott of SA businesses, goods

Sep 06 2019 15:13
Jan Cronje

The National Chairperson of Nigeria's ruling party, the APC, has called for a boycott of South African goods and services at a media conference in Abuja.

This follows a wave of xenophobic attacks and looting in Gauteng, which has caused outrage in the west African country.

In a video of a media conference uploaded by Channels TV, All Progressives Congress national chair Adams Oshiomhole said attacks on foreigners in SA, many of whom are Nigerian, were no longer tolerable and time had come for a "direct bold statement". Authorities in SA had not demonstrated sufficient commitment to bring these attacks to an end, he added.

"I think right away Nigerians, in our individual capacities, this is the moment to show our commitment to our citizens by boycotting South African goods and South African businesses," he said. 

According to Nigerian media, the press conference was held at the end of a closed-door meeting of the party's National Working Committee on Thursday. 

Oshiomhole said that while the SA government was envious of the small business acumen of Nigerians living in SA, SA companies were making "billions of dollars" from Nigeria and allegedly repatriating huge profits.

He slammed comments made by former Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi, who said in 2017 that some SA cities were 80% foreign, and that Hillbrow in Johannesburg "had surrendered to the foreign nationals". According to AfricaCheck, while the video is dated it has been been raking in views "in the thousands". The group found that data "does not back up this controversial claim".

President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the xenophobic attacks and looting, while Finance Minister Tito Mboweni told the WEF Africa Forum in Cape Town that all Africans were welcome in South Africa, and a majority of South Africans were against xenophobia.  Nigeria has officially boycotted the WEF.

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria's minister of information, said in a separate video uploaded to the ministery's Twitter page that the Nigerian government was "ready to evacuate Nigerians willing to retun home from SA". 

He added that certain video clips being circulated purportedly showing Nigerians being killed in South Africa were false. "Those who are circulating these video should resist from doing so". 

* This article has been updated to add that Mkongi is no longer deputy police minister. 

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