Nigerians are always targets of xenophobic attacks in the country.
Ahead of Nigeria’s semifinal match against South Africa in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, Nigerian citizens living in South Africa have been warned by the Nigerian High Commission in the country to be mindful of their celebration if Nigeria wins the match.
The Commission issued the notice in a statement titled “Advisory on Safe Conduct for Nigerians in South Africa Before, During and After 2024 AFCON Match Between Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana” after inflammatory comments made online by South Africans against Nigerians living in the country raised tensions.
“The attention of the Nigeria High Commission Pretoria has been drawn to potentially inflammatory online comments made by a section of South African citizens against Nigerians living in the host country, largely influenced by the upcoming 2024 African Cup of Nations semi-final match between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana on Wednesday, February 7, 2024,” the statement said.
“Most of the comments consist of veiled threats against ‘Nigerians cooking jollof rice’ before the match, and’showing pepper to Nigerians if the Bafana Bafana lose to Super Eagles,’ among others.
“In this regard, the High Commission hereby advises the Nigerian community to be watchful of their utterances, be mindful of where they choose to watch the match, especially in public places, and refrain from engaging in loud, riotous or provocative celebrations should the Super Eagles win the match.”
Nigerians based in South Africa were also advised to be of good conduct and report any provocation to authorities in the country.
The warning is aimed at protecting Nigerians, who are always targets of xenophobic attacks in the country.