The Nigerian embassy in South Africa has warned citizens living in that country to avoid any wild celebrations of a possible AFCON semi-final triumph after veiled threats have been issued against the West Africans ahead of an epic clash between the Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana in Ivory Coast on Wednesday.
In a statement, the Nigerian High Commission to Pretoria warned Nigerian nationals to carefully choose public places to watch the potentially explosive clash to be beamed live from Ivory Coast.
“The attention of the Nigeria High Commission Pretoria has been drawn to potentially inflammatory online comments made by a section of South African citizens against Nigerians living in host country, largely influenced by the upcoming 2024 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final match between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana on Wednesday 7th February 2024,” warned the embassy.
“Most of the comments consist of veiled threats against ‘Nigerians cooking jollof rice’ before the match, and ‘showing pepper to Nigerians if the Bafana Bafana lose to the Super Eagles’, among others.
“In this regard, the High Commission hereby advises the Nigerian community to be watchful of their utterances, be mindful of where they choose to watch the match especially in public places, and refrain from engaging in loud, riotous or provocative celebrations should the Super Eagles win the match.
“Additionally, Nigerians should maintain the good conduct they are known for, and be law abiding before, during and after the match.
“Should any provocations arise, they should not be reciprocated but reported to the appropriate authorities.”
South Africa has witnessed deadly xenophobic attacks against foreigners in the past with Nigerian migrants among those targeted.