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Nigeria High Commission in South Africa Issues Caution Ahead of AFCON Clash: ‘Mind Your Jubilation, Utterances’



Nigeria High Commission in South Africa Issues Caution Ahead of AFCON Clash: 'Mind Your Jubilation, Utterances'

Nigeria High Commission in South Africa Issues Caution Ahead of AFCON Clash: ‘Mind Your Jubilation, Utterances’

The Nigeria High Commission in South Africa has issued a stern warning to Nigerians residing in the country, urging caution in their reactions should the Super Eagles triumph over the Bafana Bafana in the upcoming African Cup of Nations semi-final match. This advisory, released on Monday, February 5, 2024, highlights concerns over potential inflammatory comments and the risk of xenophobic backlash against Nigerians.

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,” the High Commission stressed the importance of exercising restraint in jubilation and refraining from provocative behavior.

The warning stems from reports of inflammatory online remarks attributed to some South African citizens, targeting Nigerians ahead of the highly anticipated football encounter. These comments, laden with veiled threats and xenophobic undertones, have raised alarm within the Nigerian community in South Africa.

According to the statement, the derogatory comments include threats related to “Nigerians cooking jollof rice” and “showing pepper to Nigerians if the Bafana Bafana lose to Super Eagles,” among others. Such rhetoric, fueled by the intensity of football rivalry, has the potential to incite tension and violence if not addressed proactively.

In light of these developments, the Nigeria High Commission advises Nigerians to exercise vigilance in their conduct, especially during public gatherings to watch the match. Loud, riotous, or provocative celebrations are discouraged, as they may exacerbate existing tensions and escalate into confrontations.

Furthermore, the High Commission emphasizes the importance of maintaining good behavior and promptly reporting any instances of provocation to the relevant authorities. This proactive approach aims to mitigate the risk of xenophobic attacks and safeguard the safety and well-being of Nigerians in South Africa.

The advisory serves as a reminder of the persistent challenges faced by foreign nationals, particularly Nigerians, in South Africa, where sporadic outbreaks of xenophobic violence have occurred in the past. These attacks, often fueled by economic grievances and xenophobic sentiment, underscore the need for proactive measures to address underlying tensions and promote peaceful coexistence.

As Nigeria prepares to face off against South Africa in a high-stakes football match, the focus extends beyond the field to the safety and security of Nigerians living abroad. The warning from the Nigeria High Commission serves as a sobering reminder of the complexities surrounding sports rivalry and the potential consequences of inflammatory rhetoric in an already volatile environment.

In the spirit of sportsmanship and mutual respect, Nigerians are urged to uphold the values of tolerance and restraint, regardless of the outcome of the match. By exercising caution and prioritizing safety, individuals can contribute to fostering a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere, both on and off the football pitch.

The upcoming AFCON clash represents not only a sporting event but also a test of resilience and unity in the face of adversity. As Nigerians rally behind their team, they must also stand united in promoting peace and understanding, reaffirming their commitment to building a better future for all.