The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has commended the decision of the Federal Government to withdraw Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa in response to the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans resident in that country. CACOL also hailed the Nigerian Government’s decision to withdraw its participation from the on-going conference of the World Economic Forum in that country.
This was contained in a press release issued by CACOL’s Coordinator for Research and Documentation, Okechukwu Ndiribe on behalf of the Centre’s Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, stated that “ the Centre’s position should not be misconstrued as support for Nigerians who may have been involved in perpetrating criminal activities in that country adding that such individuals should be punished in line with that country’s extant laws. He also stated that CACOL does not support the reprisal attacks on South African firms based in Nigeria”.
The CACOL boss further stated that: “The Federal Government’s response which in diplomatic circles is considered as a government’s strongest expression of displeasure, is in order considering the scale and magnitude of the indiscriminate attacks which were launched against Nigerians and other Africans by vandals roaming the streets of Johannesburg last Sunday. “He further stated that:” This umpteenth attack on Nigerians resident in South Africa deserves a very strong response which should convey how aggrieved Nigerians are over the ugly incident in that country.”
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Adeniran further stated that: “We also expect that President Muhammadu Buhari’s next line of action should be to send South Africa’s High Commissioner to Nigeria back home. This step if taken will in no unmistakable terms convey a serious message to President Cyril Ramaphosa. “President Buhari needs to take this step to serve as a deterrent against any recurrence of this unacceptable event in the future. This step has become necessary given the background of countless similar incidents in the past which did not attract adequate diplomatic response on the part of past administrations.
“Another reason why the expulsion of the South African envoy is also necessary is that such a step will compel the authorities in that country to review their strategy towards providing security for the lives and property of Nigerians living in that country. “We are convinced of our position because it has become obvious that the South African Government has over time demonstrated a tendency to handle past attacks on Nigerians by barbarians in that country with kid gloves.”