Nigerians in the republic of South Africa have raised an alarm over the xenophobic attacks on Africans in parts of the country.
Speaking via a telephone interview with PUNCH newspaper, the migrants expressed fear saying death threats were being circulated on social media.
According to Itunu Bodunrin, who on Monday had attended his master’s degree graduation ceremony at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, he was unable to leave the school campus afterwards due to the violence in the town.
Bodunrin forwarded a text message to our correspondent which, according to him, had been circulated among South African residents via an instant messaging mobile application, WhatsApp.
In the message, signed by several groups, including the Patriotic Movement, Pan Local Forum, Unemployed Workers Forum and Anti-Crime Movement, Nigerians and other African foreigners were warned to leave the country.
It read in part, “Dear neighbour from Africa and other parts of the world, we have travelled the world and have not found one country that allows the floods of humans across its borders as South Africa is experiencing. Even in war-torn parts like Syria, Ukraine, Yemen and Somali.
“We were seven million people in Johannesburg city in 2011. Today, we have an estimated 13 million. In Johannesburg alone, you have taken over entire suburbs: Yeoville, Berea, Bez Valley, Turfontein, among many. You have even moved into rural parts of our country that have 80-per-cent unemployment, and there are no visible signs that you have jobs either.
“We want to be proudly part of the geographic construct called Africa, but we are as different from one another as Kenyans are from Nigerians; Ivorians from Chadians, etc.
“We are pleading with you to return to your home countries. Go and build up those countries so that we can all live in economic, social and political prosperity and peace as neighbours. The genocide in this corner of Africa will be far worse than what happened in Rwanda in 1994. Then the entire continent will be condemned to ashes. Is that what you want?
“South Africans not fully employed or who were found guilty of crimes, were recently repatriated from Nigeria and rightly so.
“Our people are preparing for war against all foreigners (from Bulgaria, Pakistan and Bangladesh to Africa, north of the Limpopo) and we are all very scared. Please go home and build Africa. Millions will die if you don’t. This we can guarantee.”