BMO To South Africa: Let Our People Go…Praises Air Peace Boss For Being A Good Corporate Citizen

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has urged the government of South Africa not to further traumatise  Nigerians wishing to leave South Africa with unnecessary immigration formalities or other bureaucratic bottlenecks.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO commended the management of AirPeace Airline for their patriotism and selflessness by airlifting Nigerian victims of Xenophobia back to Nigeria, free of charge and at no cost to the Federal Government.
“We note that AirPeace has shown an example of how corporate bodies and citizens should respond whenever the need arises. The airline has proven to be a worthy and patriotic corporate organisation and we urge others to emulate it.
“We also applaud the show of patriotism by the evacuees who emotionally sang the Nigerian national anthem at the departure lounge in South Africa, and inside the aircraft, on their way back to their fatherland. This encomium is in appreciation of the efforts the Federal Government invested to address the latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
“From their emotional reactions, it is obvious that contrary to the opinion in some quarters, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was not only concerned about the plight of the victims, but that it made deliberate and proactive moves to guarantee their safety and well-being.
“We are delighted that the returnees appreciated the President for his citizen-focussed foreign policy which made it possible for the timely evacuation of our citizens from the dangers they faced in the unfortunate xenophobic attacks”.
The group, however, berated the South African authorities for frustrating the smooth return of Nigerians who had indicated their wish to return home. “We consider this an enemy action unbecoming of a country like South Africa which had benefitted greatly from the large-heartedness of Nigeria during the apartheid era.
“We celebrate, also, the decision of the Federal Government to swiftly and comprehensively reintegrate the returnees in the country by providing them with Bank of Industry loans to enable them to start businesses.
“This is aside from other incentives like free GSM telephone and telephone lines, N40, 000 worth of airtime and 9GB of data valid for two months.  These positive measures are unprecedented in the history of Nigeria’s foreign policy as the President ensured that Nigerians in South Africa were not abandoned in their time of need”, the group  added

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Nigeria’s Bite Back At South Africa: How The Buhari Government Responded To Xenophobic Attack On Its Citizens By Nathaniel Adoji

The last few days have been painful for Nigerians and other foreign nationals living in South Africa. Two people have been confirmed dead, businesses have been destroyed, properties burned down and security officials say they are finding it hard to calm the violence. The reason for the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians is largely due to poverty, growing inequality, high level of unemployment and lack of opportunities; the South African denizens who are victims of these believe immigrants, especially Nigerians, are taking up their opportunities and have resorted to violence. 

President Buhari in a strongly worded statement expressed his displeasure over the treatment of Nigerian citizens, condemning possible negligence on the part of law enforcement agents in South Africa and their failure to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. He also instructed his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria for discourse on how to ensure safety of lives and property.  

The Minister had the previous day taken to Twitter on the issue. He wrote: ”Received sickening and depressing news of continued burning and looting of Nigerian shops and premises in #SouthAfrica by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection. Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures. @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @GovernmentZA @DIRCO_ZA”. He later shared photos of his joint press conference with the High Commissioner of South Africa to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, where he demanded compensation for affected victims and family members, as well as justice by prosecuting those involved in perpetrating these attacks. 

The Nigerian Government via its Twitter handle did not spare words too, a tweet from the official handle with the phrase “Enough is Enough” attracted thousands of retweets and engagements. 

The Federal Government has already despatched a Special Envoy to convey to President Cyril Ramaphosa the countries displeasure of the killings of Nigerians, and to register that they have to pay for the losses of lives and properties. One of the highest forms of registering displeasure in a diplomatic setting. They are expected to arrive Pretoria latest Thursday, September 5, 2019. 

The dispatch of a special envoy is akin to sending the highest rank of diplomatic representation to another country. 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the end of an event he attended in Kano addressed the press with a stern face condemning the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa, deeming it as unfortunate considering the role Nigeria and Nigerians played in pulling down apartheid. He also cited the fierce attacks as completely contrary to the ideals of all great South African leaders, many who gave up their lives for the country’s emancipation. Professor Osinbajo added that ‘Besides, these acts of bigotry are entirely contrary to the very ideals that all the great South African leaders, including the present President fought for, and for which many gave their lives.’ He further expressed his worries and the government’s plans to take this up with the right authorities in SA in order to ensure we bring an end to these attacks, one he calls ‘absolutely unacceptable and unconscionable.”

The Federal Government through the Minister of Information has drawn the line reiterating that it will no longer condone the mistreatment of Nigerian citizens in South Africa. However, the Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians not to attack South African companies operating in Nigeria in retaliation for the ongoing xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.

Several Nigerians and groups have called on other citizens to boycott South African products and companies, including DSTV, Shoprite and MTN. They are also demanding that the Vice President withdraw from the World Economic Forum event in Cape Town coming up later this week. This request drives many pertinent questions, one of which is: In a world where diplomacy is urgently required, more than ever, should the Vice President boycott like other African leaders have announced to do, or rather should he attend and make the anger of Nigerians known in person, on South African soil?

Nathanniel Adoji is a journalist and public affairs commentator.

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Xenophobic Attacks: Nigeria Deserves Better from South Africa – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) strongly condemns the recent South African xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals, particularly on Nigerians, their property and businesses.

As a party, we are deeply saddened by these unwarranted attacks. Nigeria deserves better from South Africa. It is too early for South Africans to forget their country’s history. Many of the key players in the struggle against apartheid are still alive and active in the country’s national affairs. We therefore cannot understand why there seems to be a conspiracy of silence on their part.

The barbaric attack on citizens of other countries points to a failure of leadership. South African leaders cannot exonerate themselves from this cowardly act. We call on the South African ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC) to urgently step in. This is completely at variance with what ANC stood for. The ANC government can no longer pretend about this obvious contradiction.

The violence being meted to Nigerians under ANC calls to question the very essence of the struggle against apartheid in which Nigeria was a frontline ally of South Africa. How can those who supported you and made huge sacrifices for your freedom become fair games to be murdered in cold blood?

Perhaps there is a disconnect between the younger and older generations of South Africa. The older generation cannot sit back while the uninformed youths and some South African public officials in their quest for inordinate populism destroy what we collectively achieved over several decades of sacrifice and brotherliness.

Today, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians. This is one of the first steps in this government’s proactive response to this unfortunate incident. We assure Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would continue to take decisive measures. The safety of Nigerians – home and abroad – is non-negotiable to the APC administration.

SIGNED:

Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu

National Publicity Secretary

All Progressives Congress (APC)

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Xenophobic Attacks: President Buhari Despatches Special Envoy To South Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari has noted with deep concern, reported attacks on Nigerian citizens and property in South Africa since August 29, 2019.

Consequently, the President has instructed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to summon the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria and get a brief on the situation; express Nigeria’s displeasure over the treatment of her citizens; and assurance of the safety of their lives and property.

President Buhari has also despatched a Special Envoy to convey to President Cyril Ramaphosa his concerns and also interact with his South African counterpart on the situation.

The Special Envoy is expected to arrive in Pretoria latest Thursday, September 5, 2019.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

September 3, 2019

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Xenophobic Attacks: FG Will Push For Accountability, Compensation For Nigerians Who Suffered Losses – Minister

The minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has promised that the federal government will push for accountability and compensation for Nigerians that suffered losses in South Africa.

He disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during a press briefing with the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe over the continued xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

Onyeama added that while the Nigerian government believes that criminality knows no bound, it condemns the frequent attacks on Nigerians in diaspora, including South Africa, and will do everything to protect her citizenry.

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Xenophobic Attack On Nigerians: Lawan Condemns Surge

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Monday condemned continuous killings of Nigerians by South Africans saying any further attack on Nigerians may be resisted.

Lawan said about 118 Nigerians have lost their lives in different attacks while South African Police were responsible for 13 out of the death.

Am emotions laden Senate President, lamented the spate of the killings when he hosted the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe, who led a South African delegation to brief the Senate on his government’s enquires to unravel the cause of the xenophobic attack on Nigerians and further provide lasting solution to the menace.

Lawan said that the meeting became pertinent considering the incessant nature of attacks on foreigners who reside in South Africa, “this meeting gives us a better opportunity to speak on the killings of Nigerians by South African.

“We in the Parliament must speak and prevent any further killings. This killing must stop. This is the era of social media where corpse of the victims may spark violence that may go beyond any governmental control.
“The South African government must as a matter of urgency do whatever it take to protect lives and property of Nigerians living in the country.

“Nigeria government remain committed to safety of South Africans residing here, so also their investments. I believe we have faced enough, we will no longer take it anymore. We want to write the names of Nigerians killed and the South African parliament must act fast to put a stop to this menace.
“Over the years, 118 Nigerians have been killed, while 13 out of these were killed by South African Police. This country and its people provided every shelter and resources to South African during the apartheid, we worked with South Africa,

“We must establish events leading into these killings. Of recent, Mrs.Elizabeth Chukwu was killed in her hotel room. Any more killing of Nigerian, I am not sure what may happen. I am a parliamentarian, and this must stop, why can our citizens be protected.” He queried.

The President of the Senate, thanked the High Commissioner for the update provided saying, such move is encouraging and heart warming.
His words, “The update on the cause of late Mrs. Chukwu’s death is heartwarming. It is a sign that something has been done in this regards. We should go beyond the Mrs. Chukwu’s case, with this, we can put this ugly incident behind us.

“We are brothers , we love South Africans so much, we don’t want this incident to occur again. Let’s see how far we can work together to fix this. The two countries, Nigeria and South Africa are leading lights in African continent, we thank your government for the update, it shows we are facing the right direction.

Earlier, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe, regretted killings of Nigerians just as he condoled families of the deceased adding that, inquest has been instituted to investigate cases of xenophobic attack in the country. Moroe stated that the inquest will reveal the causes, the death and best way to stop the menace across board.

He reiterated the commitment of South African government and the law enforcement agencies to get to the root of the matter and bring to book perpetrators of the attacks.

“Our government will continue to be committed to the good relationship with Nigeria. We will continue to protect our shared history. Your sentiment have gone deep into our heart, and you will be happy that he same sentiment has been our concern in South Africa. On behalf of the government of South Africa, we express our sincere condolences to Nigeria government for this unfortunate incident.

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Nigeria–Bound Russian Ship With Illegal Ammunition In 20 containers Held In South Africa

A Nigeria–bound Russian ship is being detained in South Africa for carrying illegal arms.

The cargo ship, LADA, was arrested on Sunday at the Port of Nura, near Port Elizabeth city, following a tip-off.

According to a report by Fletmon.com,  security checks on the vessel revealed arms and explosives believed to be illegal in 20 containers.

It was learnt that an investigation by South Africa’s criminal investigation organisation – The Hawks – revealed that the cargo was heading for Nigeria’s commercial city Lagos and the United States.

The detained ship  had sailed since May from Ust-Luga, Russia, Baltic sea, visiting India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania ports prior to its arrival in South Africa.

Investigation of the matter was ongoing yesterday.

In recent times, security agencies and the Nigeria Customs Service have been intercepting illegal arms and ammunition in large consignments at the nation’s ports.

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South African Police Officers To Appear In Court For Allegedly killing Nigerian

The Nigerian Mission in South Africa announced on Friday that police officers implicated in the alleged murder of a Nigerian, Ibrahim Badmus, would be charged to court soon.

Mr Badmus, 25, who was murdered in 2017, was among no fewer than 120 Nigerians, mainly young people, killed in South Africa since February 2016.

Nigeria’s Consul-General in South Africa, Godwin Adama, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview from Johannesburg that the South African authorities had confirmed that investigation into the murder of Mr Badmus was almost concluded.

“Badmus, a native of Lagos State, was brutally murdered by the South African police on October 10, 2017 at Vanderbidjk Park, South Africa.

“Police officers implicated in the murder will be charged to court any moment from now,” the envoy said.

South African police officers were said to have stormed the home of Mr Badmus, an undergraduate at Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijlpark in South Africa, alleging that Badmus was trafficking drugs.

But it was learnt that when the operatives searched the home of the young Nigerian, they could not find any drug.

The operatives, allegedly asked the deceased for money and when he could not give them money, they handcuffed him and used excessive pepper spray on him. He passed out and died, due to suffocation.

Mr Adama said the case was classified as high-profile because of the tension generated by the development as some Nigerians, who had confrontation with the police almost took laws into their hands.

The consul-general said that on hearing the development, he immediately rushed to the scene where he interfaced with aggrieved Nigerians and the police to calm frayed nerves.

“I led a delegation from the mission to visit the scene on receipt of the information. When we arrived the scene, the place was tensed up because Nigerians there were not happy.

“We immediately met with the station commander in the area with some selected Nigerians.

“The police assured that a thorough investigation would be carried out and that the culprit would be brought to book.”

He said that the police authorities later arrested the police officers, who perpetrated the crime and commenced investigation.

Mr Adama said that the mission had followed up on the case and that it was clear that investigating authorities had done a thorough job.

The President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Adetola Olubajo, blamed the incessant killings of Nigerians in South Africa on a lack of prosecution of offenders by the South African authorities.

Mr Olubajo told NAN that the inability of the government to bring to bring those perpetrating the heinous crimes against Nigerians to book had given some people impetus to descend on Nigerians.

“Lack of prosecution of these criminal activities has actually emboldened a lot of people to feel that they can kill Nigerians without any consequence,” he said.

On July 11, the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, during a visit to Nigeria, said that killing anybody in South Africa was a criminal act and that criminality in the former apartheid enclave was not specifically targeted at Nigerians.

But despite the assurances of Mr Ramaphosa, the death toll of Nigerians in South Africa has continued to increase.

On July 12, another Nigerian, Martin Ebuzoeme, was killed by assailants in the Yeoville district of Johannesburg.

On July 6, Lawrence Ozumba, was similarly shot dead by gunman at No.10 Koppe Str., Middleburg, Mpumalanga.

Earlier on April 9, another Nigerian, ThankGod Okoro, was reportedly murdered at Hamburg, Florida West Rand in Johannesburg by the South African Police Flying Squad.

The same month one Clement Nwaogu, a father of two, was burnt to death by a mob, stoking a protest by some Nigerians resident in South Africa.

It was learnt that at least 14 of the protesters were taken into custody and allegedly branded drug peddlers by the South African authorities.

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Another Nigerian Shot Dead In South Africa

the Nigerian community in that country has expressed shock over the killing of another Nigerian, Martin Ebuzoeme, by unknown assailants.

The President of Nigerian Union in South Africa, Adetola Olubola, confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that the victim was killed in Yeoville, Johannesburg around 7:30p.m. on July 12.

The killing occurred barely 24 hours after the visit of South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to Nigeria.

Ramaphosa had during his visit on July 11 said the killing of Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country was an act of criminality, not specifically targeted at Nigerians.

“The killings are caused by high level of unemployment among the youths as well as other social factors emanating from long apartheid misrule.

“Government is however, doing its best to bring it down,” Ramaphosa had said.

The Nigerian Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, said the latest killing did not have anything to do with xenophobic attacks.

Adama said the killing happened in a crime-prone area of the country.

“The man was killed by unknown gunmen and has nothing to do with xenophobic.

“The place is a crime-prone area and those kind of assassinations happened often in that area.

“There is no investigation that showed that it was xenophobic.

“Within a year here, we have about 16,000 murders which do not necessarily have anything to do with any national of a particular country,” he said.

NAN reported that killings of Nigerians in South Africa had been on the increase in recent times.

Before the latest one, there was the assassination of Ozumba Tochukwu-Lawrence by an unknown gunman at 10 Koppe, Middleburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa, on July 6.

Another Nigerian, ThankGod Okoro, was also reportedly shot dead in Hamburg, Florida West Rand, Johannesburg, on April 9 by the South African Police Flying Squad.

There was also the killing of Clement Nwaogu in April, a father of two, who was burnt to death by his assailant.

The wanton killings of Nigerians in South Africa had sparked a number of protests there.

For demanding justice on behalf of their fallen compatriots, 14 of the protesters were taken into custody and branded drug peddlers.

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President Buhari Receives South African Leader At Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja met behind closed door with the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, at the presidential villa, Abuja.

President Buhari received the visiting South African leader at the fore court of the Aso Rock at about 3 p.m.

The two presidents met to discuss issues of mutual interest to both Nigeria and South Africa particularly security and economic matters.

Recall that the Presidency on July 8 raised alarm over the increasing killing of Nigerian citizens in South Africa for flimsy reasons.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had expressed displeasure over the killings.

Dabiri-Erewa, who was reacting to the latest killing of a Nigerian citizen, Mr Ozumba Tochukwu-Lawrence, in South Africa on July 6, said no fewer than 117 Nigerians were extra-judicially killed in South Africa between 2016 and 2018.

Ramaphosa would be a Special Guest at the ongoing 25th General Meeting of the African-Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in Abuja.

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South Africa’s Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela Joins Peace Hyde On Against The odds

As one of the 11 technical experts who helped the Constitutional Assembly draft the final constitution of South Africa in 1994 and 1995, Thuli Madonsela is one of SouthAfrica’s fiercest public protectors.

When widespread corruption was uncovered by powerful businessmen, which led all the way to the country’s seat of power, Madonsela chose to defend the people instead of bow down to threats made on her life.

Catch her gripping story on this episode of Against The Odds with Peace Hyde.

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South Africa’s Ramaphosa Vows To Fight Corruption

Newly elected President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has said his first duty as the No 1 citizen of the country is to confront endemic corruption and supervise mismanagement in state-owned enterprises.

Cyril  was elected president in a parliamentary vote yesterday after the resignation of scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma, on orders from the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

Ramaphosa will serve out the remainder of Zuma’s term until 2019 elections. Seen as an ally of Zuma, Ramaphosa was appointed deputy president in 2014.

Ramaphosa, while giving his pledge promised to work hard “not to disappoint the people of South Africa.”

He also said one of the first things he wants to do is have a meeting with the leaders of other political parties “so we can try and find a way of working together.” He said he will outline his policies in a state of the nation address tomorrow evening.

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