Collins Mgbo, President of the Nigerian Union South Africa, recently discussed the impact of viral videos depicting the arrest of Nigerians for alleged drug trafficking by a local group in South Africa. In these videos, some Nigerians were shown being apprehended for their alleged involvement in illicit drug activities. Mgbo shed light on the situation and its consequences for the Nigerian community in South Africa.
According to Mgbo, an organization operates in response to information about drug sales within specific areas or provinces. This organization conducts investigations and arrests based on these tips. The subsequent arrests are often documented on a local television channel, revealing their actions to the public.
Mgbo confirmed that while Nigerians are involved in drug-related activities in South Africa, they are not the sole participants. However, a significant number of those currently apprehended belong to the Nigerian community.
South African citizens have also been implicated in these activities, as shown in a TikTok video that Mgbo mentioned.
Notably, the group conducting the arrests did not reach out to the Nigerian Union South Africa during its investigations, and the union did not get involved initially. However, they did engage when an incident resulted in the death of an innocent Nigerian in the province.
The incident Mgbo referred to took place when the group apprehended several individuals in an area known for gatherings. The Nigerian victim and others were subjected to severe torture, leading to his untimely death. Mgbo emphasized the need for lawful procedures and criticized the group’s unconstitutional actions.
Regarding accusations of theft and possession of ammunition made against some arrested Nigerians, Mgbo asserted that there is no evidence to support these claims. He urged that legal processes be followed for arrests, investigations, and prosecutions.
Mgbo also highlighted efforts to address the challenges faced by Nigerians in South Africa. A social commission event was hosted to foster dialogue between concerned parties, including representatives from both communities, the police, legal experts, and more.
The ongoing drug-related arrests have created tension within the Nigerian community. Mgbo acknowledged that while crime involving Nigerians in South Africa is not a new issue, the recent events exacerbate negative stereotypes and perceptions about Nigerians, potentially leading to xenophobic attacks.
Mgbo proposed solutions, including addressing the root causes of migration by creating opportunities in Nigeria. He stressed that crime is not an acceptable option and urged Nigerians to avoid engaging in illegal activities. Additionally, he mentioned challenges faced by Nigerians in obtaining proper documentation in South Africa and called for improved government intervention.
Mgbo concluded by emphasizing the importance of upholding the law, protecting everyone’s rights, and avoiding actions that could escalate tensions between communities.