Nigeria’s government summons South Africa ambassador over xenophobic attacks

Nigeria's minister of state for foreign affairs, Musiliu Obanikoro.

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Musiliu Obanikoro invited South Africa’s high commissioner Lulu Mnguni to discuss the “on-going xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans in South Africa”, the Nigerian foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The essence of the summon was to register Nigeria’s protest over the on-going xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans in South Africa.”

In a statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, Ambassador Obanikoro condemned the attacks on foreigners in South Africa, and expressed concern about the fate of Nigerians and, indeed, of other African immigrants in the country.

“South Africa needs to take concrete steps to quell the unrest and bring the culprits involved to book to act as a deterrent and prevent further violence,” he said.

Meanwhile, the South African high commissioner, in his response, explained that his government was doing everything possible to stop the attacks and prosecute culprits.

He also expressed appreciation to the Nigerian government and people for the mature manner the crisis had been handled.

Since the attacks started last week, several Nigerians have lost their businesses and other belongings to fire set by locals.

Obanikoro said that the Nigerian high commissioner, Martin Cobham, and other officials were taking stock of the damage done to Nigerians to ensure that adequate compensation is paid to them.