Xenophobia: Buhari Pledges Stronger Ties With South Africa Despite Attacks

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President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to profuse apologies from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Buhari said the xenophobic attacks were “very unfortunate” recalling that Nigeria had “made great sacrifices for South Africa to become a free state.”

“Our leadership was quite committed to the cause. We made sacrifices, which younger people of today may not know,” Buhari said while receiving in audience Mr Jeff Radebe, South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa special envoy, in Abuja.

He also went down memory lane, recalling the roles played by Nigeria in engendering majority rule in South Africa and ending the apartheid segregationist policy.

President Buhari said, “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,” he added.

Buhari, however, did not mention the position of the country in demanding compensation for affected Nigerians as highlighted by Nigeria’s Foreign as Minister Geoffrey Onyeama.

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