NIGERIA: Buhari, Osinbajo meet over xenophobia as Nigeria boycotts WEF in South Africa

By Wale Odunsi | Daily Post |

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to discuss next step on Xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

The country has boycotted the World Economic Forum on Africa 2019 holding in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Forum which kicked off on Wednesday had no Nigerian delegation in attendance as other African countries joined Nigeria in boycotting the event.

Some of the other African countries that have pulled out of WEF are Rwanda, Malawi and DR Congo.

The Nigerian government is exploring possible options including sanctions against the South African government.

The government is also deliberating on possible actions from within after some Nigerians carried out reprisal attacks against South African businesses in Nigeria including attacks on one of Africa’s largest food retailers, Shoprite, and telecoms giant, MTN, forcing the organisations to scale down operations.

“President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo have taken a hands-on approach in resolving the Xenophobia issue with South Africa but they want everything done diplomatically,” a source in the Presidency said.

“The boycott of WEF is another strong statement to the South African government and people because the Buhari administration will not stand and fold its arms after attack on any Nigerian citizen. This is the right step in the right direction.

It will be recalled that the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Onyeama met with the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Monroe, on Tuesday to express his displeasure at the Xenophobic attacks and to also condemn the attacks.

Mr. Onyeama said the federal government expected that such security operatives would eventually be incorporated in the South African police with a view to assisting it in pre-empting future attack against Nigerians.

“We have registered our strong protest to the government of South Africa but most importantly, we have put forward to the South African government what we think will make a big difference,” he said after the two met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“One, with regards to compensation for those who have suffered losses and most importantly, a security proposal that we believe will safeguard the security of Nigerians in the future.

“We are hoping to see the possibility of sending some security agents, deploying them initially in the Nigerian High Commission, to work closely with the South African Police Force.”

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About Cholo Brooks 10828 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.