Nigeria has pulled out of the World Economic Forum holding in Cape Town,
South Africa, days after it said it was going to take “definitive
measures” on the xenophobic attacks on her citizens in the country.
“Nigerian government has boycotted the World Economic Forum holding in
Cape Town, South Africa,” President Muhammadu Buhari’s aide on New Media
Bashir Ahmad said on Wednesday. “Some individuals from Nigeria including
a former Minister are attending on their own.”
Rwanda, Congo and Malawi earlier announced that they will not attend the
event because of the latest xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals and
their businesses. South Africa’s neighbour Botswana told her citizens
“travelling to South Africa to exercise extreme caution in light of
recent developments resulting in violent unrests.”
Zambia also called off a planned football friendly with South Africa.
Although South Africa’s police minister and high commissioner to Nigeria
said the attacks on foreign nationals were acts of criminality,
President Cyril Ramaphosa told business leaders on the sidelines of WEF
in Cape Town that South Africa must quell attacks on foreigners.
“Taking action against people from other nations is not justified and
should never be allowed in our beautiful country. … We need to quell
those incidents of unrest,” Ramaphosa said.
A day earlier, he tacitly acknowledged the attacks were xenophobic but
that the government would not allow them to fester.
“We are a country that is completely committed against xenophobia,” he
said. “We do not allow and cannot tolerate attacks on people from other
Nigeria’s initial tepid reactions to the latest waves of attacks irked a
large percentage of Nigeria’s youthful population, with many calling for
the government to send a strong message to South Africa.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to meet Ramaphosa in
October. But he planned on sending a special to the country to discuss
the attacks on her citizens.
But the boycott of WEF signalled a new direction in the handling of the
Apart from pulling out of the World Economic Forum, Nigeria is also
expected to recall its ambassador to South Africa