Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will meet in October to discuss issues relating to the well being of citizens and ways to further strengthen trade relations between the two largest African economies, the Presidency has said.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had last week Thursday picketed three South African companies, including MTN, in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital, to protest the frequent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.
The other offices picketed were MultiChoice DSTV and Stanbic IBTC branch, all in Oke-Ilewo, Abeokuta.
The protesting students, led by NANS’ National Public Relations Officer, Azeez Adeyemi, carried placards with different inscriptions such as “South Africans have declared war,”, “Enough is enough,”, “Nigerian students can no longer keep quiet while South Africans kill Nigerians,”, and “All South African business interests must leave Nigeria.”
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa had appealed for calm particularly to NANS, to allow for an exhaustive diplomatic negotiations at the highest level both at ministerial and presidential.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said in a telephone conversation with the South African leader at his country home in Daura, Katsina State, President Buhari accepted an invitation to visit the country to further “consider recurrent issues concerning the wellbeing of the Nigerian community in South Africa, and the need to promote trade and investment.”
In an earlier letter of invitation, the South African president said: “Your visit will provide an excellent opportunity for our sister countries to further consolidate and advance our strategic partnership and cooperation on matters of peace, security and socio-economic development in our continent.
“We will discuss issues of mutual interest and concern in global governance.’’
President Ramaphosa said the meeting would provide an opportunity to inaugurate a bi-national commission for both countries to “effect the strategic decisions taken in 2016 to elevate it to the level of heads of state.’’