Nigerians in South Africa

The Nigerian community in South Africa plans to establish a support group for their countrymen who want to move here – but in-fighting over the names has ended up in court. Mojeed Biobaku, interim chairman of the Nigerian Community Forum (NCF) in Cape Town , said the organisation was established at the behest of then acting Nigerian high commissioner to South Africa , Mohammed Zannah, when he

 visited theWestern Cape to receive his country’s president last year.

When the new commissioner, Mohammed Buba Marwa, took over, a second support structure was created that spread to other provinces. 

One group, under the leadership of chief Austin Iejeziehas, adopted the name Nigerian Union of the Western Cape (NUWC).

This group has now gone to the Western Cape High Court to stop the other faction, the NCF, led by Oparaugo Azubike, from claiming the same name as theirs.

In court papers, chief Iejezie said: “Our younger, more militant members are very disturbed at what has happened and I am tasked with keeping them calm.

“My advice to them is to seek relief with this honourable court rather than to take the law into their own hands.”

But Biobaku said Iejezie’s claim was “laughable”.

He said due processes had been followed to register the name after Zannah himself suggested it, and he told The Times that they intend defending the matter in court.

He said they hoped to sell a new image of Nigeria to South Africa , bury tribal differences within their community and that they were working to ensure that Nigerians were “not harassed in any way”.

He added that a database of Nigerians in the province had been compiled. 

“When Nigerians have a run in with the police, we are called and then we are given an audience, and we engage all parties,” Biobaku said.

“. we plan to be as big as the Jewish community. Everybody wanting to start a business, we will give them a loan, we’re starting an empire.” 

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