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Xenophobia: Buhari, Osinbajo, Onyeama meet as Nigerians react

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on Wednesday held a meeting to discuss xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.

The meeting was revealed by Buhari’s New Media aide, Bashir Ahmad, on his verified Twitter handle.

He tweeted, “President @MBuhari is currently meeting with Vice President, @ProfOsinbajo and Foreign Affairs Minister, @GeoffreyOnyeama over the recent #XenophobicAttacks on Nigerians in South Africa. The FG is committed to protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians in South Africa.”

Security was on Wednesday beefed up in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja around companies that have affiliations with South Africa as a result of rising tension over the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

From the city centre to the FCT’s satellite towns, security was beefed up around Shoprite, MTN offices and SPAR outlets among others.

The popular Jabi Lake Mall housing a Shoprite outlet and other business concerns in the Jabi District of the FCT was heavily guarded while the outlet was closed.

The situation was the same at the Shoprite outlets located near the national headquarters of the Peoples Democratic Party in Wuse and Lugbe along the popular airport road.

Armed policemen drafted from Karu Division were also seen with their patrol van at the entrance of a mall housing the MTN Office in Karu, off the popular Abuja-Keffi Expressway where Youths protesting the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa  made a bonfire  a few metres from the Mall.

Speaking on a radio programme, the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Bala Ciroma, said he had deployed police personnel across the city to maintain law and order.

In  Imo state, the police took over the Owerri shoprite mall located along Egbu road in Owerri, which also did not open for business

The Police Command in Enugu State also beefed up security in the state over possible reprisal attacks by residents of Enugu  State and its environs on South African businesses.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police Ebere Amaraizu, told News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Enugu State that the command had increased patrol in the state, especially within Enugu metropolis.

NAN reports that there had been increased police personnel and other covert security personnel deployed to Shoprite Mall along Enugu-Abakaliki Road; MTN office in Zik Avenue and Multi-Choice office along Ogui Road among others.

In Ibadan,the Bodija, Ibadan office of telecommunication company, MTN, was set on fire by an irate mob on Tyesday

Youths in their scores mobilised themselves and vandalised the frontage of the company around 6:00 p.m. but were stopped from entering the multimillion naira office by policemen who were deployed by the state police command.

An eyewitness, Omololu Adeeyo told The PUNCH that “but for the timely intervention of the policemen, the irate mob was set to vandalise the main hall of the business centre when policemen hurriedly cordoned off the premises.

“Many staffers of the company were in panic mood when the incident occurred,” he added.

The incident resulted in gridlock as vehicles passing through Agodi government secretariat road en route the University of Ibadan are having a hectic time, navigating the road.

The development made the state police command to deploy anti-riot policemen to other MTN outlets in the city.

A similar fire incident was aborted on Tuesday evening as youths attacked the MTN service centre located at Mobil Bus Stop on MKO Abiola Way.

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