The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Adams Oshiomhole, has called on the Federal Government to nationalise South African businesses in Nigeria.
He made the called at the end of an emergency National Working Committee (NWC) meeting of the ruling party in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“In order to send a very strong message to South African authorities and the South African people, it is worth it for the Nigerian government to take steps to take over the remaining shares of MTN that are owned by South Africans so that MTN becomes fully Nigeria owned.
“If Nigeria decides at least for the next 30 days to stop using MTN, they would have sent a clear message,” the party chairman said.
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The APC leaders met on Thursday to discuss the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals living in South Africa.
Oshiomhole, who presided over the meeting held at the party’s secretariat, stressed that there was a need for the Nigerian government to send a strong warning to South African authorise over the attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners.
As part of measures to be taken, he proposed a complete takeover of businesses owned by South Africans in Nigeria.
The APC chairman also asked the government to revoke the licenses granted to banks owned by the South Africans in the country.
He said, “We should no longer sacrifice our own national interest just because we want to be the big brother of a people that does not recognise the role, the enormous and the huge sacrifices that our country has made over the years to protect and defend the interest of the African continent.
“While South African government is envious of the small businesses which Nigerians are involved in South Africa, South African companies are making billions of dollars from the Nigerian economy year in year out and repatriating same out of Nigeria,” Oshiomhole added.
His demands came on the heels of widespread outrage spurred by the attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa.
In his bid to address the issue, President Buhari ordered the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, to engage the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe.
During a meeting with the minister, Moroe denied the reports of xenophobia in his country, although he admitted that there was violence in South Africa.
South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the attacks while President Buhari sent a special envoy to meet with the authorities on the killing of Nigerians living in the country.
The attacks also caught the attention of some prominent Nigerians, as well as various groups including Amnesty International.
The human rights group accused the South African authorities of “fuelling xenophobia in their desperate attempt to win political support.”
It, however, asked them to build a country rooted in respect for human rights and the rule of law that protects everyone.