Godwin Adama, Nigeria’s Consul-General in Johannesburg, has underscored the need for urgent implementation of the Early Warning Mechanism endorsed by Nigeria and South Africa to end attacks on Nigerians.
Adama disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
He said there was no case of attack on Nigerians in South Africans, “except a recent case of Police brutality that is being sorted out as we speak”.
He stressed the need for urgent implementation of the Early Warning Mechanism endorsed by Nigeria and South Africa so as to achieve meaningful growth.
He said: “President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, in Pretoria, South Africa endorsed the establishment of an Early Warning Mechanism, as preventative and monitoring platform against recurrence attacks.
“The Early Warning Mechanism, which we have agreed to put in place, is a way of tackling issues associated with attacks on Nigerians.
“The Early Warning Mechanism is not fully in place, the bilateral meeting on Nigeria and South Africa treaties has not come out with the blueprint. That is still being awaited.”
Adama disclosed that on October 16, a group of South Africans calling for the staging of protest against Nigerians, carried out a peaceful protest.
He said: “Nigerian Citizens Association in South Africa also obtained an approval to carry out peaceful protest, to counter such demonstrations which portrayed their fatherland in bad image.
“NICASA duly submitted its memorandum to the Nigerian High Commission in that country during the protest, but did not carry out any form of violent attack.
“The other group carried out protests and NICASA also carried out protests; when there are protests, they do not always stop there.
“Nigerians also got permission to protest and embarked on it in a peaceful manner and according to the law; South Africa authority does not stop peaceful protest, they can only provide Police to maintain orderliness.”
Adama, whose tenure as Nigeria’s Consul-General in that country expires in October, 2020, said strategic measures had been put in place to deepen bilateral relations between South Africa and Nigeria.
He said: “NICASA has officially established its operational office here too and the good thing is that Nigeria bilateral relations with South Africa will continue.
“Based on the establishment of NICASA office as a structure on ground now, I believe things can only get better.”
He commended the non-inclusion of Nigeria among 57 countries banned by South African government on leisure travels, in line with the October 1 international visitors Level-1 regulations.
He described the act as the first step toward opening up ways that could attract tourists, mostly from Nigeria and other countries in Africa to South Africa.
Adama dismissed claims that the Federal Government would evacuate more Nigerians living in South Africa, saying no such idea was being considered.
He said: “The Mission will continue to issue travel documents to those requiring them.
“The South African government has not asked anybody to leave.
“It is only a certain group of people on social media via Twitter, who try to preach hate speeches.
“I do not think that every South Africa is thinking that way.
“We cannot legalise or nationalise crime.
“Crime is crime.
“It is not national of any country.
“Anybody who commits crime, irrespective of nationality, should be sanctioned in accordance with the law.”
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