Nigeria/South Africa commission to resolve xenophobic attacks,others – Senator (Dr) Ajibola Basiru.

by Adabanija Kamorudeen

Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora, Non Governmental Organisations ( NGOs) and Civil Societies, Dr. Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, has said the Nigeria-South Africa Commission will resolve the challenges and issues between the two countries, particularly the incessant zenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Basiru regreted that zenophobic attacks have become a regular occurrence in South Africa and, in the last three weeks, Nigerians and other West African nationals have been killed.
In a chat with The Nation , Dr. Basiru said: The special envoy to South Africa has briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on his visit to South Africa. He was able to meet with the South African President and held some meaningful discussions with him.
“There was understanding on the part of South Africa that we do the needful to address the challenges.
“Now the Nigerian Government is evaluating the situation with a view to determining whether the proposed meeting with the South African President in October should go ahead depending on our assessment of the situation.
“There is already a memorandum for South African – Nigerian Commission. There will be a bilateral commission between South Africa and Nigeria, expectedly one of the issues to be tackled in that commission is the zenophobic attack and other common factors that threaten the economic interest of the two countries and their citizens.”
Basiru continued: ”As a government, we are highly concerned about the welfare of Nigerians in South Africa. About 604 Nigerians who have signified interest to return to Nigeria are already in the process of being evacuated back to Nigeria”, he said adding that it is a voluntary evacuation back to Nigeria, the Nigerian Government is not forcing anybody to come back to Nigeria, and South Africa is not expelling anybody.
“ It is a voluntary evacuation so that we assist them to reunite with their families, their children, their wives and other relations in Nigeria,” he said.
He regretted that those drumming economic war does not understand how integrated the two economies are.
According to him, “Nigeria has a lot of interest in South African businesses and even in South Africa. So, the onus is on us as a government to ensure that we take options that will best advance the larger interest of Nigerians, particularly, those who are not under direct attack in South Africa.
“The attack is not coming from the whole of South Africa. zenophobic attack is localised in certain areas it is not a complete South African affair . We are handling the situation in such a way to ensure that the general interest of Nigerians is not jeopardised.
“So what we are doing now is that Nigerian Government is evaluating the situation with a view to determining whether the proposed meeting with the South African President would still hold.

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