Xenophobia: Kano Shoprite, MTN others close shop

The Kano branch of Shoprite, one of South African businesses in Nigeria has shut its doors to customers following widespread public anger over the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.

DAILYFOCUS noticed that while other business at the Ado Bayero Mall were open, the doors of Shoprite remained firmly shut with armed security personnel standing guard.

A security official told our reporter that the food retail giant shut down operations at 3pm on Tuesday, adding that the retail store closed “till further notice”.

On Tuesday, a Lagos branch of Shoprite was attacked by angry protesters who also looted items from the shop and set part of it ablaze.

Similarly, MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, on Wednesday, confirmed attacks, saying that all MTN stores and service centres would be closed until further notice.

The company stated this in a letter sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) by its Company Secretary, Uto Ukpanah.

Ukpanah, in the letter, confirmed that over the last day “our facilities, customers and some of our stakeholders have been the subject of attacks in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobia situation in South Africa.”

He said that the company had confirmed reports of attacks in Lagos, Ibadan and Uyo.

“While we remain committed to providing uninterrupted services, the safety and security of our customers, members of staff and partners is our primary concern.

“All MTN stores and service centres will, therefore, be closed as a precaution, until further notice.

“MTN condemns any act of violence, prejudice and xenophobia, and remains absolutely committed to ensuring a peaceful, harmonious and respectful relationship with all communities in Nigeria and across Africa.

“We are engaging all relevant authorities in this regard and urge them to act swiftly to reduce tensions, both in South Africa and Nigeria.

“We will provide further updates as and when possible,” Ukpanah stated

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