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Xenophobic attacks: Buhari, Ramaphosa to meet soon

President Muhammadu Buhari is planning a meeting with his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramahosa, with a view to checkmating  xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in the South African country.

This was disclosed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, while briefing journalists, in Abuja, on Wednesday.

Apart from the xenophobic issue, she said that the two leaders’ meeting, in Abuja, would also dwell on other bilateral issues that would strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

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Stressing that the xenophobic attacks in South Africa have reached an alarming level, she said that decisive action must be taken to avoid a further generation.

According to her, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and that of South Africa would also meet as soon as the new cabinet of President Buhari is constituted.

She said they would continue with earlier diplomatic policy discussions on how best to tackle the tension created as a result of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in the country.

Her words, “Really it’s pathetic, it’s sad. As we said before, until about 2016, we have had 118 Nigerians killed in South Africa. Between 2018 and today, 88 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa.

“Out of this 88, 25 were cases of Nigerians killing Nigerians and we have had the case of Mrs. Elizabeth Chukwue who was murdered in her hotel room.”

As a way forward, she also demanded full investigation into the xenophobic cases in South Africa.

She continued, “Eight policemen are currently being investigated in South Africa for their involvement in killings against Nigerians, that investigation must come to an end and there must be consequences for their actions.

“The two policemen that did this to Tayo are already being investigated by investigating body that deals with police officers in South Africa. We must know the outcome of the investigation.

“We also must know who killed Mrs. Elizabeth Chukwu who went for a conference and died in her hotel room.

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“We know that every country has their own challenges, we have ours and they have theirs. But killing other people is not the solution to anything. If a Nigerian commits a crime you deal with the person.

“And like Tayo said, we just have to put an end to xenophobia in Africa. It is a shame that in the 21st century we are talking about Africans killing Africans, rather than talking of Africans going to the moon, doing inventions, taking over the world. This cannot be called to happen,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

At the press conference tagged ‘Enough is Enough’, also attended by the leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Dabiri-Erewa also declared Faniron Tayo as the champion of xenophobia Africa.

“So, Tayo, maybe we will call you the champion of an end to xenophobia.” Faniran, a Big Brother Africa (BBA) star was recently brutalised in the South Africa.

The NANS, through its President, Danielson Akpan, had issued seven-day ultimatum for South African businesses in Nigeria to leave the country.

He also called on Nigerians in South Africa to return home.

But the NIDCOM boss declared that the issue had not got to that level and would be handled by the leaders of the two countries.