Buhari jets to South Africa to face Ramaphosa on xenophobic attacks

Buhari will meet with Ramaphosa a month after Nigerian businesses were attacked by rioting South African mobs.

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa will host Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari for three days [Presidency]

South African mobs had launched attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, and looted and burnt their places of business in suburbs of Johannesburg and surrounding areas early in September.

The attacks caused diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and South Africa as hundreds were evacuated back to Nigeria.

Buhari had sent a special envoy to Ramaphosa last month, and received a South African envoy in Abuja concerning the attacks.

However, the two leaders are now set to meet when Buhari travels to South Africa for a three-day state visit that starts on Wednesday, October 3, 2019.

The presidency said in a statement on Tuesday, October 1 that the two will discuss the welfare of Nigerians in South Africa, and find common grounds for building harmonious relations.

The statement read, "While in South Africa, the Nigerian leader will hold a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the country, with a view to sharing in their experiences and reassuring them of Nigerian government's commitment to working for the protection of their lives and property and promoting peaceful co-existence.

"President Buhari and his host will preside over the South Africa/Nigeria Bi-National Commission, during which a progress report will be presented. At the end of the meeting, both leaders will sign a joint communiqué.

"The President and his delegation including Nigerian business representatives will also participate at a South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum with their host counterparts."

Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong; and Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, will accompany Buhari on the trip which had already been scheduled before last month's wave of violence.

Ministers on the trip with the president are Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs), Bashir Magashi (Defence), Saleh Mamman (Power), Rauf Aregbesola (Interior), Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines and Steel Development), Maigari Dingyadi (Police Affairs), and Mariam Katagum (State for Industry, Trade and Investment).

Others on Buhari's delegation are National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Abubakar; and Chairman/CEO Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

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