President Muhammadu Buhari has given instruction for the immediate
voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians who are willing to return home
from South Africa.
The President gave this order after he received the report of the
special envoy sent to South Africa to convey a Special Message to
President Cyril Ramaphosa over the recent xenophobic attacks in the
President Buhari had sent Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Director-General,
National Intelligence Agency (DG, NIA) as his Special Envoy to South
Africa, to convey a Special Message to his counterpart, President Cyril
Ramaphosa, following xenophobic attacks.
According to a statement by the President’s special media aide, Mr Femi
Adesina, the Special Envoy, who was in Pretoria from Thursday, 5th to
Saturday, 7th September 2019 conveyed the deep concern of President
Buhari and Nigerians about intermittent violence against Nigerians and
their property/business interests in South Africa.
Mr Adesina further disclosed that President Buhari stressed the need for
South African Government to take visible measures to stop violence
against citizens of brotherly African nations.
He stated that President Buhari is worried that the recurring issue of
xenophobia could negatively affect the image and standing of South
Africa as one of the leading countries on the continent, if nothing is
done to stop it.
The President’s media aide noted that the Special Envoy conveyed the
assurance of President Buhari that the Nigerian Government is ready and
willing to collaborate with the South African Government to find a
lasting solution to the involvement of few Nigerians in criminal
activities, and to protect the lives and property of the larger groups
of other law abiding Nigerians and indeed Africans in general, against
all forms of attacks including xenophobia.
“President Buhari further assured that the Nigerian Government will
guarantee the safety of lives, property and business interests of South
Africans in Nigeria,” Adesina added.
In his communique on Monday, Mr Adesina also revealed that on his part,
President Ramaphosa agreed that the violence was most disconcerting and
He added that Ramaphosa rejected on behalf of his government, such acts,
which undermine not only South Africa’s image but also its relations
with brotherly African countries.
“President Ramaphosa reaffirmed his stand against criminality and
committed to do everything possible to protect the rights of every
Nigerian and other foreign nationals in the country,” the statement
On his visit to South Africa, the President’s Special Envoy also
interfaced with his South African counterpart, where they reviewed the
situation of foreign emigrants in general and Nigerians in particular.
Mr Adesina stated that the envoy and his counterpart agreed to work
together to find a permanent solution to the root causes of the
recurring attacks on Nigerians and their property.
The President’s media aide stressed that his principal has taken note of
the report and instructed the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs to
continue to engage with appropriate Authorities on the concrete measure
the South African Government is expected to take.