President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa who are willing to return back home.
Buhari also directed Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to monitor the measures the Government of South Africa (who are clearly treating the issue nonchalantly) would take to end the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
Buhari’s decision came following the report of the special envoy he had sent last week to see President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and convey Buhari’s deep concern over the intermittent violence against Nigerians and their businesses in SA. The envoy further urged the authorities in SA to take visible measures to stop violence against black Africans.
Buhari also assured the SA authorities that the Nigerian Government was willing to collaborate with them to find lasting solution to the involvement of few Nigerians in criminal activities.
In his response, President Ramaphosa agreed that the violence is most disconcerting and embarrassing, adding that his government completely rejects such acts, which undermine not only the country’s image, but also its relations with brotherly African countries.
“President Ramaphosa reaffirmed his stand against criminality and that he was committed to doing everything possible to protect the rights of every Nigerian and other foreign nationals in the country.”
The envoy noted that the SA president “agreed to work together to find a permanent solution to the root causes of the recurring attacks on Nigerians and their property.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians who have shown interest to return have risen to 640.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO Nigeria Diaspora Commission, while speaking to journalists after a meeting with the Senate Committee on Diapora, said that; emergency travel papers were being issued to Nigerians and that two aircrafts are currently in South Africa to bring back the first set who are ready to return.
“As I speak with you now, we have 640 Nigerians voluntarily registered to come home and they will be home in a couple of days.
“We believe that more will still be coming to register. Two planes will convey them.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.