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Nigeria, S’Africa ties still strong, says Anyaoku

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Anyaoku

NOTWITHSTANDING the recent xenophobic attacks, Nigeria’s relationship with South Africa is sound and strong, according to the former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku.

Speaking to reporters yesterday after a closed door meeting with the president elect, Muhammadu Buhari, he said the authorities in South Africa lived up to expectations in the way they handled the ugly incident, which affected Nigerians residents there.

Anyaoku, who is on the Presidential Advisory Council of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan, also said there was nothing wrong with the execution of Nigerians caught dealing in hard drugs in Indonesia.

The former envoy said he had a useful discussions with president-elect, adding that he utilised the opportunity to congratulate him on his victory.

He revealed, “I told him he’s coming in as president on a very high wave of expectations throughout the country. I also told him that the high expectations are based on the promises he made during his campaign to the people but more importantly on the general perception of his character.

“He is perceived as a man with very strong sense of discipline, a man who is truly averse to corruption, a man whose lifestyle has been frugal not ostentatious or opulent and above all a man who is very committed to the welfare of the masses. I believe that if his administration reflects these qualities that the country’s challenges and problems would be effectively tackled.

“I had useful discussions with president-elect, congratulated him on his victory and told him he’s coming in as president on a very high wave of expectations throughout the country. I also told him that the high expectations are based on the promises he made during his campaign to the people but more importantly on the general perception of his character.

“He is perceived as a man with very strong sense of discipline, a man who is truly averse to corruption, a man whose lifestyle has been frugal not ostentatious or opulent and above all a man who is very committed to the welfare of the masses. I believe that if his administration reflects these qualities that the country’s challenges and problems would be effectively tackled.”

On the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, he noted: “I think that Nigeria’s relations with the world at the moment is quite good, we’ve had a tiff with the South African situation but not with the South African government. I think the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa has been condemned by the South African government and I believe that the way President Jonathan has handled the issue has been very good, so I would suggest that the incoming president will continue the personal relationship with the president of South Africa so that when incidents like that occur, the two governments will have a dialogue and the government of South Africa will be sensitized even more to the need to tackle the situation. So far I think it is fair to say the South Africa government has condemned those attacks and is doing what it can to see that they do not get repeated.”


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