Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa, NICASA, has urged compatriots to remain calm amidst social media reports designed to scare Nigerians ahead of Wednesday’s Nigeria-South Africa AFCON Semi-final match.
NICASA President-General, Dr Frank Onyekwelu made the call in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Wednesday.
“NICASA as the apex body and umbrella body for all Nigeria communities, in South Africa, always works hand in hand with our Consul-General, the Consulate Office and the High Commission in handling this kind of matter.
“Whenever we observe something untoward, we report it to them first and then we take further instructions from them and we relate same to the communities.
“My advise will be that Nigerians at home and abroad should all stay calm.
“I believe their government and higher authorities will do anything possible to diffuse the tension.
“Hence, no matter how things appear now, our people in Nigeria should hold their peace and we pray that it doesn’t lead to violence,” Onyekwelu said.
He described Nigerians living in the country as peace-loving people who do not instigate violence.
Onyekwelu, however, said if and when there appears to be impending violence, the organisation will tackle such by laying formal complaints to the South African authorities and bring same notice to the relevant Nigerian authorities.
“The two countries have so much in common, so we will do as much as we can to maintain peace and unity between both nations and their nationals.
“So, our people should calm down and let us trust God that the whole atmosphere will diffuse. Whatever happens to be the outcome of the football match on Wednesday, we will trust God that it will not result in violence.
“The South Africa government by now must have spoken to their policing department, to make sure that violence does not happen in all public places where the match will be shown.