President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval for the immediate and voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians who are willing to return to Nigeria from South Africa.
The President also directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, to engage the South African authorities on “appropriate measures” the latter will take to end the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, The Cable reports.
The President gave the directive upon receiving the report of the special envoy he sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa last week to register Nigeria’s concerns over the attacks.
The Presidency, in a statement on Monday, said the special envoy, who is the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai-Abubakar, returned to Nigeria after the assignment and submitted his report to Buhari already.
More than 100 000 Nigerians are estimated to live in SA, Adamu said. Foreign workers in SA – the continent’s second largest economy after Nigeria – are often victims of anti-immigrant sentiment in a nation where almost one in three people are unemployed.
The violence prompted reprisal attacks against South African firms in Nigeria and the temporary closing of SA’s diplomatic missions in Lagos and Abuja.
Nigeria last week summoned the South African ambassador to condemn the violence while sending an envoy to meet President Cyril Ramaphosa.