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Buhari visits South Africa, says steps have been taken to prevent xenophobic

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday reassured Nigerians living in South Africa that actions and measures have been taken to prevent reoccurrence of xenophobic attacks against them.

Apart from reported deaths, many Nigerians have lost properties and their means of livelihood to recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Buhari, during a town hall meeting with Nigerians in South Africa on Friday, noted that the South African authorities have expressed their apologies and resolved to take necessary steps to end the ugly trend.

He said “The recent acts of xenophobic attacks on our compatriots and other Africans in South Africa are shocking to me, Nigerians and indeed Africa. It was an embarrassment to the continent. Let me again use this medium to condole the families of all those who lost their lives over the years in such tragic incidents. May their souls rest in peace.

“I also commiserate with all those who were injured. May God heal their wounds. My sympathies are also with those who have lost properties.

“As a government, we are quite disturbed by this very unfortunate events and have taken actions and measures to address this issue and prevent their reoccurrence with the South African government.

“I had earlier directed the evacuation of Nigerians who do not feel safe to remain here.

“Over five hundred have returned home and are being reintegrated into their communities. At this juncture, I wish to express my profound gratitude to Chief Allen Onyeama the Chairman of Airpeace Airlines, who showed compassion and patriotism by immediately offering to evacuate our Nigerian brothers and sisters who had been affected by these xenophobic attacks.

“During my visit here, we have discussed these attacks on foreigners and Nigerians. The authorities have expressed their apologies over the incidents and have resolved to take necessary steps to end this ugly trend in the interest of our relationship.” he said

According to him, the two countries have just inaugurated the Nigeria/South Africa Bi-National Commission at the level of Heads of State “with a firm determination to further bring our two countries together in a mutually beneficial partnership.

“Let us, therefore, give peace a chance and pray we have seen the last of this ugly violence.”

Buhari also called on all Nigerians to be law-abiding and respect constituted authorities while they live in South Africa.

“May I also enjoin the few that sometimes gives us a bad name, to desist from such misdemeanours and be our good ambassadors.” he said.

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