By Fortune Abang
The Nigeria mission in Johannesburg, South Africa, has described the degree of the ongoing looting and arson as unprecedented in the history of democracy in the country.
Mr Abdukmalik Ahmed, Consul-General of Nigeria to South Africa, who stated this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, added that no action whatsoever could justify such dastardly act.
“The brazen action of the looters and arsonists is indeed symptomatic of a deeper malaise and mental poverty, which can neither rationalise nor justify the situation.
“It is apparent the looters and arsonists were only happy to seize on the opportunity provided by the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma, to commit mayhem in what has been described as ‘opportunistic criminality’.
“Whereas, the situation is calming down gradually, Nigerians have been continually urged to refrain from venturing into flashpoints and to exercise utmost caution.
“With regards to those whose shops have been looted or burnt, it was observed that the looting and arson did not particularly target Nigerians or foreign owned businesses alone. Nonetheless, we sympathize for the loss of property and merchandise”, Ahmed said.
He stated that the mission had taken stock of losses incurred by Nigerians in the mayhem, with a view to seeking appropriate redress, where possible.
Ahmed advised Nigerians living in the country to insure their shops and goods, so as to ensure they were indemnified against losses.
“The mission has opened an advisory and counseling office for those affected as it continues to also urge Nigerians to be law abiding and refrain from being provoked to take laws into their hands.
“The mission believes the action taken by the South African government so far, coupled with the intervention of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), will restore normalcy in the next few days,” Ahmed said.