Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that despite deadly attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa by the country’s citizens, it will not retaliate.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama made the remark following a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Onyeama, responding to a question on whether Nigerians will likely see a reciprocal effect in the event that the South African Government did not cooperate, said:
“We don’t believe that two wrongs can make a right. I think in terms of revenge on those kinds of attack is not what we are looking forward to. The South African Government has assured us that they are doing everything possible to address the situation, that they are equally exasperated by the whole event. We believe that, with that goodwill, we may be able to work together to put in place these mechanisms that would make a difference.”
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria 🇳🇬 (@NigeriaMFA) September 3, 2019
On what will be the key issues to address as the special envoy departs for South African depart, the Foreign Minister said: “It is just those two key issues: the compensation payment and what security mechanism to be put in place to make sure that this kind of attacks do not recur. We need to have a viable mechanism in place. Like I have said, one of the possibilities that we are proposing is to have some Nigerian security operatives working with the South African police and attached to the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, speaking on the xenophobia motivated attacks, described the violence against Nigerians living in South Africa as reckless, and that runs contrary to the ideals of South African leaders.
Osinbajo, who spoke to reporters on his way back from Kano, said: “Let me say first that these recent attacks are condemnable. It is very sad and very unfortunate that the lives and livelihoods of Nigerians living in South Africa are once again being destroyed with such wantonness and with such carelessness and recklessness.
OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT
Vice President @ProfOsinbajo SAN, spoke to reporters in Kano, just now, answering questions on the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa. Below are his verbatim comments:
— Government of Nigeria (@NigeriaGov) September 3, 2019
“It is unfortunate because Nigeria and Nigerians invested a great deal in the pulling down of Apartheid. Besides, these acts of bigotry are entirely contrary to the very ideals that all the great South African leaders, including the present President fought for, and for which many gave their lives.
“Mr President has already spoken about this; and, obviously, we are very concerned and certainly intend to take this up with the authorities in South Africa in order to ensure that this sort of thing does not repeat itself. This is absolutely unacceptable and unconscionable,” the Vice President said.