President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the voluntary evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa.
This was in a statement on Monday by Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity.
The president gave this directive after receiving the report of the special envoy evaluating the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
A delegation led by Ahmed Abubakar, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), were sent to South Africa on Thursday to convey a message of concern to Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa.
He said the president instructed, Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, to engage with appropriate authorities on the concrete measures the South African government is expected to take.
“President Buhari stressed the need for South African Government to take visible measures to stop violence against citizens of brotherly African nations,” he said.
“President Buhari is worried that the recurring issue of xenophobia could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries on the continent, if nothing is done to stop it.
“The Special Envoy conveyed the assurance of President Buhari that the Nigerian Government is ready and willing to collaborate with the South African Government to find a lasting solution to the involvement of few Nigerians in criminal activities, and to protect the lives and property of the larger groups of other law abiding Nigerians and indeed Africans in general, against all forms of attacks including xenophobia.
“President Buhari further assured that the Nigerian Government will guarantee the safety of lives, property and business interests of South Africans in Nigeria.
“President MBuhari has also given instruction for the immediate voluntary evacuation of all Nigerians who are willing to return home.”