Xenophobia attack victims: Nigeria sets up 24-hour early warning call centre

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[Abuja]–Geoffrey Onyeama, the foreign affairs minister has revealed that Nigeria in partnership with South Africa has set up a 24-hour early warning call centre to protect Nigerians from futher xenophobic attacks.

This revelation was made to newsmen at a NAN forum in Abuja.

“Wherever any Nigerian is threatened or in difficulty, we will always intervene quickly, an example of this was in Italy, you will recall last year or the year before there was a Nigerian who was attacked and killed.

“We quickly engaged with Italian Government and really took all the necessary steps, arresting people and pay compensation to the family. So we will always engage to protect Nigeria lives wherever they may be.

“We are hoping now to set up a 24-hour call centre so that Nigerians anywhere in the world can call a particular number whenever they are in distress.”

He said that the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa had been directed to facilitate legal support to help the victims of recent xenophobic attacks in the country to get their compensations.

The minister said that the victims of the attacks had been advised to make inventory of their losses through a mechanism that had been created, known as the early warning unit.

The minister said that he had directed the Nigerian High Commissioner in South Africa to arrange the first meeting as quickly as possible.

He expressed the hope that the step would go a long way to address the situation.

Onyeama decried attacks on Nigerians in South Africa and India which sometimes led to death and expressed concern that the South African situation was more troubling because it often re-occurred.

He however described the attack on Nigerians in India as a one-off thing because it was a response to a particular incident.

He said what was gratifying about the Indian case was that the Indian Government was very quick in condemning and arresting suspects.

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