President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, issued a direct order to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to study the actions and steps taken by the South African government in order to halt the continued xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
The President added that South Africa should engage the appropriate authorities in measures taken to curb the killings.
The Presidency issued a statement in Abuja, stating that the special envoy which was led by the Director General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai-Abubakar, had finally returned to Nigeria after a brief assignment to South Africa to closely monitor the situation on ground. He affirmed that they had submitted the report of their survey to the president.
“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,” a statement, signed by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, read.
"We have taken note of the reports received and sent directives to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, to continue to engage with appropriate authorities on the concrete measure the South African government is expected to take.
"Meanwhile, both nations, Nigeria and South Africa, have agreed to work together to find a permanent solution to the root causes of the recurring attacks on Nigerians and their property.”
The Presidency announced that the total number of Nigerians in South Africa, who had indicated their interest in returning home had risen from 400 to 640. Buhari directed that all 640 Nigerians should be evacuated as soon as possible.
You will recall that on Sunday, Air Peace Airlines offered to airlift those Nigerians willing to return home following the destruction of lives and properties in the recent xenophobic attacks. Air Peace had reportedly sent two planes to transport the first batches of Nigerians willing to return home.