The federal government has said it is only recalling the country’s High Commissioner in South Africa for consultation, over the recent escalated xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in that country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, offered the explanation on Thursday on Channels Television’s live programme “Politics Today’’, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The minister reiterated the position of his Foreign Affairs counterpart, Geoffrey Onyema, that the high commissioner’s recall for consultation would be after the President’s Special Envoy has returned from South Africa.
He recalled that as parts of efforts to decisively deal with the attacks, President Muhammadu Buhari dispatched a special envoy to convey to his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, his concern and interact with him.
He said the president would also be addressing the nation on the matter after the return of the special envoy to the country.
The minister said that the plan to evacuate Nigerians who are willing to return home from South Africa was a private initiative, which was welcomed by the federal government.
The minister said besides boycotting the World Economic Forum on Africa being hosted by South Africa, the government is considering other measures to keep Nigerians in South Africa safe.
He enjoined Nigerians not to resort to self help by attacking South African businesses in Nigeria.
Mr Mohammed also alerted Nigerians to the fake video clips being circulated on the social media purportedly showing how Nigerians are being killed in South Africa.
He said the fake video clips are meant to inflame passions and are complicating government efforts to calm frayed nerves at home. (NAN)