The leadership of South East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association (SEAMATA), an umbrella body of all traders in the South-East geo-political zone, has bemoaned the death of its members in the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
At the end of an emergency general meeting of SEAMATA Tuesday, n Onitsha, the association claimed that “over 80 per cent of the victims of the xenophobic attacks are our members who relocated their businesses to South Africa.“
In a press statement the traders however cautioned against reprisal attacks by its traders against South African businesses.
The group noted that reprisal attacks would only expose Nigerians as immature and further expose “our teeming brothers and sisters to further attacks in South Africa.”
The statement, signed by the President-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu and the Secretary-General, Mr Alex Okwudili, insisted that Nigerians should resist this provocation by not engaging in reprisal attack on South Africans and their businesses anywhere in the Nigeria.
According to the statement, “this association could not imagine that citizens of Nigeria that sacrificed so much in human, material and financial resources to bring down the Apartheid Regime in South Africa, could be ‘rewarded’ with such unimaginable treatment.
“We are so surprised that South African security agents would fold their hands and watch their citizens kill and maim Nigerians, loot and burn down their shops and other businesses.”
SEAMATA called for immediate and proper documentation of all Nigerian citizens killed in South Africa, vandalized shops and businesses and the value of goods looted, adding, “the South African government should urgently document for immediate compensation of those Nigerians who were killed.”
SEAMATA reminded the people of South Africa, that no nation has the monopoly of violence, and warned that they should not push their luck further.”
The traders’ association appealed to the Federal Government to pressure the South African Government to guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerians in South Africa.”