President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said Nigeria made a lot of sacrifices towards ensuring the end of the Apartheid regime and the realisation of a free South Africa that its citizens enjoy today.
President Buhari stated this when he received Jeff Radebe, a Special Envoy from South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, according to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
Radebe was at the Presidential Villa at the behest of President Ramaphosa to tender an apology to Nigeria over the xenophobic attacks faced by Nigerians in the last couple of weeks.
Read Also: Ramaphosa Apologises To Nigeria Over Xenophobic Attacks
Adesina quoted President Buhari as stating during the meeting his displeasure over the attacks of Nigerians and other African nationals, describing it as “very unfortunate”.
Reminiscing on the Apartheid struggle, the president stated that the leaders of Nigeria at that period engaged in various activities as part of the country’s effort in pressuring the then-white minority South African government to cease from its segregation policy.
“Going back to historical antecedents, we made great sacrifices for South Africa to become a free state.
“I was a junior officer to (late) General Murtala Muhammad, and General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd). They were not operating in a democracy, but they got Nigerians to support them in the bid to see a free South Africa.”
“Our leadership was quite committed to the cause. We made sacrifices, which younger people of today may not know.
“During my last visit to South Africa with the late President Robert Mugabe, it was very emotional, as Mugabe spoke about Nigeria’s contribution to free South Africa,” President Buhari said.
The president commended his South African counterpart “for coming to explain to us what happened in South Africa recently, leading to killing and displacement of foreigners”.
He pledged that relationship between the two countries “will be solidified”.
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