By Yemi Bakare,
It was undoubtedly a sad story, another unpleasant chapter in the strings of killings and attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
The Nigerian community in South Africa, Monday, announced the killing of Clement Nwaogu, who was burnt alive by a mob in the latest xenophobic attack in the country.
The Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Union in South Africa Mr. Habib Miller confirmed the killing to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview.
Explaining how it all happened, Miller said the victim, a native of Njikoka in Anambra State and an upholsterer in South Africa, was attacked and killed by a mob in Rustenburg, North West Province.
Miller added that the victim was murdered in cold blood over his accent and habit, which, according to him, the mobsters supposedly found offensive.
“The mob descended on him like a common criminal with all sorts of dangerous weapons in the presence of South African police officers. Witnesses say the victim beckoned for help from the police to intervene and help him, but they turned a blind eye,” Miller said.
“When Nwaogu could no longer persevere, he ran for safety; the mob chased and caught him, poured petrol on him and set him ablaze.”
Miller said the mob then left Nwaogu when they thought he had died.
The spokesman added that after the mob left, some passersby called emergency personnel, who later took the victim’s charred body to the hospital.
“The witnesses, feeling that the victim was still alive, called for help; unfortunately, Nwaogu could not survive the ordeal and died at Job Shimankane Hospital in Rustenburg,” he said.
Miller also disclosed that 14 Nigerians, who protested the killing of a fellow citizen in that country’s North West Province in February, are still being held in detention.
He added that the police officers murdered the Nigerian in cold blood on December 17 after failing to extort money from the victim, lamenting that the police officers have since been released on bail while those who protested the killing were still languishing in detention.
“Our legal team is doing everything possible to facilitate the release of the protesters. We are worried that nothing has been done by the Nigerian government to stop the killings,” Miller said.
“We once again call on the Nigerian mission in South Africa to do the needful urgently because things are getting out of hand.
“The union with its legal desk will follow up the matter with the appropriate institutions until justice prevails,” he added.
Nwaogu was married to a South African and was blessed with two children; aged three and five years.
The killing of Nwaogu followed extra-judicial killing of another Nigerian, ThankGod Okoro, 30, by the South African Police Flying Squad.
Okoro, a native of Ogbaku in Awgwu Local Government Area, Enugu State, was shot dead at Hamburg, Florida West Rand, Johannesburg on April 9.
Records show that no fewer than 118 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa since February, 2016.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, condemned the latest xenophobia attack in South Africa.
Expressing the various efforts the federal government had carried out through diplomatic channels to get justice for Nigerians who had been killed in the country in the past and some of the frustrations it has experienced with the judicial process in South Africa, she called on the South African authorities to find lasting solution to the incessant killing of Nigerians in the country.
She also urged Nigerians living abroad to obey the laws of countries where they lived, and avoid crime and criminality to avoid unwarranted attacks and killings.
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