Bala
Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama presenting letter of credence to the new Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Bala in Abuja/PM News

The federal government has said it recalled Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa Ambassador Kabiru Bala for consultations, Concise News reports.

This news medium understands that Ambassador Kabiru was recently recalled following the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and their businesses and residences in South Africa.

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Speaking on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed, said the reason for the development was to ensure proper consultation.

“The Nigerian government is only recalling the country’s High Commissioner in South Africa for consultation and that will be after the President’s Special Envoy has returned from South Africa.”

The consultation will take place once the Special Envoy sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa returns.

Attack Not Xenophobic

South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Monroe, on Tuesday, said that reports of attacks in his country are not xenophobic and targeted at Nigerians.

Concise News had reported that South Africans had on Sunday begun fresh attacks, looting and burning of businesses and properties belonging to foreigners and in the process killed three people, while another is still receiving treatment for smoke inhalation.

This online news platform also reported that Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, has summoned Moroe over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

However, responding to summon by Nigeria at a media briefing with Onyeama, Monroe described the attacks as ‘sporadic acts of violence’ adding that businesses belonging to other South Africans were also affected in the violence.

Concise News reports that the attacks on Nigerians are part of wider xenophobic attacks on foreigners in the rainbow nation.

The attack which was second of it within a week began on Sunday morning in Jeppestown area of Johannesburg when a building was set on fire by angry mobs.

Later on Sunday evening, some group of violent locals suspected to be Zulu hostel dwellers attacked Jules street in Malvern, Johannesburg, looting and burning shops.

Similar violence had occurred on August 28 in Pretoria Business District as indigenes angered by the death of a taxi operator apparently thought to be killed by a Nigerian went on rampage.

The said driver was, however, allegedly killed by a Tanzanian which sparked the violence that resorted to looting of shops owned by Nigerians and some other foreigners in that country.

This online news medium reports that the government of South Africa had threatened a crackdown but has so far been unable to prevent acts of violence.

This latest development indicates xenophobia will be top of the agenda when both leaders meet.