Xenophobia: Nigeria Will Not Retaliate Against SA – Foreign Minister Says

Despite the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigeria Nationals in South Africa, the Federal Government has said Nigeria and Nigerians won’t be retaliating because it’s not just in our nature to be unfriendly.

Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama yesterday disclosed at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja, “It has not been something that has been part of our way of behaving.

“I would often say that Nigerians, we tend to be much friendlier to foreigners than even to ourselves. So it’s never really been an issue.

“With regard to South Africa, there was a demonstration but that was really all.

“I would like to think that Nigerians will not start targeting innocent citizens for no other reason than that they are nationals of the countries in which some Nigerians were attacked.

“We are better than that and so far we have proved better than that.”

The minister also said that the ministry was putting in place modalities to ensure that Nigerians abroad got fair treatment through Nigeria’s embassies and missions.

He said complaint about services was not limited or peculiar to embassies alone but something that needed general change of behaviour

He also said “Unfortunately, this is not something that is peculiar to embassies; the service culture is something we have to work on in Nigeria, it is obviously not something that comes naturally to us.

“Even here in Nigeria, in almost every sector, we get a lot of complaints.

“There have been a lot of complaints at our embassies and I have met with the Minister of Interior for us to issue joint directive to all our embassies and missions.

“This is because the people who provide the consular services are very often from the immigration service and not actually Foreign Service officers.

“Which is why I am cooperating with the Ministry of Interior on that.”


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