The Federal Government said it is engaging in talks with its South Africa counterpart on measures to protect Nigerian nationals against xenophobic attacks in that country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama stated this yesterday while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
He said the acting Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa had met with the country’s foreign affairs top officials on the renewed attacks on Nigerians. “We have communicated to South African government that steps should be taken to prevent attacks,” he said. He said the South African government does not condone the attacks and have assured that measures have been taken to prevent further attacks on foreign nationals.
As a way of dousing xenophobia, Onyeama said the government of South Africa had begun to organize programmes to educate their citizens on the role Nigeria played in ending apartheid regime.
He also cautioned South Africa politicians against inciting statement, which was capable of escalating attacks. “This was brought to South African authority that this should be stopped.” The minister, however, said the Nigerian government has not asked anyone to intervene on its behalf. It would be recalled that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa had asked the African Union to intervene in the renewed xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in South Africa.
“The Ministry of foreign Affairs is the only institution responsible for articulating the government’s foreign policy statement,” he said.