Nigerian demonstrators, police clash near Shoprite Abuja

ABUJA - More than a hundred demonstrators clashed with police near a South African-owned supermarket in the Nigerian capital on Wednesday as resentment simmered over attacks on foreign-owned shops in South Africa.

Demonstrators burned tyres and hurled rocks outside a mall in Abuja where a branch of the Shoprite supermarket is located, before being repelled by a dozen police, an AFP journalist saw. 

"We must avenge the death of our citizens in South Africa," said one of the demonstrators, Joseph Tasha.  

READ: Security ramped up to protect SA businesses in Nigeria

Security was ramped up around South African businesses across Nigeria on Wednesday following a spate of reprisal attacks, police said.

Stores operated by Shoprite, the telecoms giant MTN and other South African firms suffered looting and vandalism in several Nigerian cities, they said.

The information commissioner for Lagos state, Gbenga Omotosho, said the Shoprite complexes at Jakande and Sangotedo Area in Ajah had been attacked on Tuesday "by some unidentified people claiming to be acting in retaliation against the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa."

READ: SA businesses targeted in Nigeria

"These attacks are condemned, as they are against the Nigerian spirit of accommodation and benevolence," he said in a statement. 

Information Minister Lai Mohammed also warned in a statement that "targeting South African companies in Nigeria for attack was akin to cutting off ones nose to spite the face."

"The investors in such companies, especially MTN and Shoprite, are Nigerians," he pointed out.


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