Officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) were on hand to prevent protesters from carrying out an attack on a Shoprite store in Lugbe, Abuja on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
The violent demonstration was in reaction to xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa over the past three days.
South African mobs had launched attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, and looted and burnt their places of business in suburbs of Johannesburg and surrounding areas on Sunday, September 1, 2019, and Monday, September 2.
The attacks have angered many Nigerians who have called for a boycott of South African businesses, like Shoprite, operating in Nigeria.
This led to the vandalisation and looting of a Shoprite store in Lagos and several other stores, including those owned by Nigerians, late on Tuesday, September 2019. One protester was gunned down by the Police.
When police officers stopped protesters from gaining access to the Shoprite store in Abuja on Wednesday, the mob burnt tyres along the road. A billboard was also set on fire by the protesters.
Officers fired tear gas canisters at the protesters to disperse them, but the demonstration continued.
Security was also beefed up at the Jabi Mall in Abuja and security checks done on people who entered the mall which also houses a Shoprite store.
A total of 189 arrests have also been effected since Sunday for criminal acts including public violence, malicious damage to property, and theft.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the attacks and called for unity.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a special envoy to South Africa to express his displeasure with the fresh attacks.