NIGERIA has recalled her high commissioner to South Africa Ambassador Kabiru Bala and withdrawn from the ongoing World Economic Forum (Wef) summit which kicked off today in Cape Town in response to the xenophobic attacks against her citizens.
Over the last week, angry mobs have run riot in South Africa, attacking African business, burning down shops and killing migrants. Leading to widespread condemnation, the attacks have led to the presidents of Rwanda, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo pulling out of the conference which started today at the Cape Town International Convention Centre and due to end on Friday.
Bringing together over 1,000 business leaders, academics world and regional leaders, the summit is crucial for the continent because debates surrounding how African can unlock and unblock its potential in the face of the fourth industrial revolution were supposed to be discussed at length. However, several nations and now Nigeria have pulled out, saying they do not want to be in a country where African are attacked.
Nigeria has gone a step further by recalling her high commissioner to South Africa after a meeting earlier today between President Muhammadu Buhari, vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo and foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama. Already, President Buhari has said he will be sending a special envoy to South Africa to demand compensation for the victims of the attack and assurances that it will not happen again.
Under pressure to act, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally responded saying that the attacks on businesses run by foreign nationals is something totally unacceptable. In a video address broadcast on Twitter, the president called on the baying mobs to stop their attacks.