Police frustrate attempt to burn Shoprite in Lagos

The police and other security personnel in Lagos have foiled an attempt by irate Nigerians to burn a Shoprite location in Lekki, Lagos. Witnesses told PREMIUM TIMES the incident occurred on Tuesday afternoon at the Shoprite outlet by Jakande Bus-Stop. A resident of a nearby estate, Gboyega Bashorun, said he was returning home from work when he noticed a raging inferno.

“I was coming back from work around 3:30 when I suddenly noticed a burning fire at the Shoprite by Jakande Bus-Stop,” Mr Bashorun, a technical assistant, said. “I saw a raging fire and saw several police vans and other security people at the entrance.”

“The Mobil and SPG gas stations nearby also closed their gates. I later gathered that it was retaliation for what happened in South Africa,” he added. In a video according to PREMIUM TIMES sent by Mr Bashorun also showed wild smoke billowing over the Shoprite premises from an apparent burning of tyres. A spokesperson for the police in Lagos, Bala Elkana, did not immediately return requests for comments about the development. It comes amidst flaring temper between Nigerians and South Africans over attacks on Nigerian businesses and properties by South Africans in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The attacks on Nigerian businesses are part of a wider attack by South Africans on foreign-owned businesses, mainly those owned by other Africans. Nigerians on social media have called for a boycott of South African businesses across the country. Shoprite is one of the major businesses owned by South Africans in Nigeria, some of which include high investments in real estate, telecommunications and retailing. President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a special envoy to South Africa as part of efforts to contain the crisis.

Pix: Shoprite Lekki