Nigeria, SA in fresh bid to mend relations

Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari (left) with his South African counterpart President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo

from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) IT is stereotypical that Nigerians in South Africa are criminals, inasmuch as it is untrue that all South Africans are xenophobic.

This is according to senior officials from these two countries that are Africa’s economic and political powerhouses as they seek ways to address the diplomatic tiffs that ever mar their relations.

This week, South Africa’s top envoy to the West African country led a delegation of officials to pay a courtesy call on Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairperson and chief executive officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.

“All these rumours labbeling Nigerians as criminals are not true just as not all South Africans are xenophobic in nature,” Ambassador Thami Mseleku, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, said.

He was speaking in the capital Abuja where his delegation visited the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission.

It is an organ the Nigerian Government established in 2019 to mediate relations with Nigerians in the diaspora.

The South African delegation paid a courtesy call on the Nigerian commission following weeks of tensions between nationalities of the two countries.

Some South Africans have been demanding the expulsion of Nigerians, accusing them of masterminding a spate of recent kidnappings in the Southern African country.

This adds to recent years of attacks on Nigerian-owned establishments accused of peddling drugs and prostituting South African women.

Dabiri-Erewa said while some Nigerians in South Africa contributed to national and economic development of the two countries, some were involved in crime.

“Those indulging in crimes and criminality should be punished in line with the law of the land. Those excelling must be celebrated,” she said.

– CAJ News

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