Nigeria not severing ties with South Africa ― FG
MINISTER of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has hinted that Nigeria was not contemplating a severance of her diplomatic relationship with South Africa over the spate of xenophobic attacks in the former apartheid enclave.
Following widespread anger by Nigerians over recurring xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and their business interests leading to loss of many lives over the years, “President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched a Special Envoy to convey to his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, his concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation.
“Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, acting on the instruction of Mr President, has summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria to get a brief on the situation; express
Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and security assurance of the safety of their lives and property.
“Nigeria is recalling its High Commissioner to South Africa, in addition to boycotting the World Economic Forum on Africa being hosted by South Africa.
“And plans are on to evacuate Nigerians who are willing to return home from South Africa. Of course, a number of other measures are also being considered by the government to keep Nigerians in South Africa safe,” Mohammed disclosed at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday.
Making further clarification, however, the Minister explained that “Nigeria is only recalling her High Commissioner to South Africa on consultation, and that will be after the President’s Special Envoy has returned from South Africa.”
Earlier in the week, the Presidency announced that the Special Envoy to South Africa will be in South Africa latest by Thursday.