By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Wednesday in Yokohama, Japan, said his government was very upset about the killings of Nigerians in South Africa. 

Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa

President Ramaphosa stated this while fielding questions from journalists after holding a bilateral talk with President Muhammadu Buhari on the sidelines of the ongoing seventh Tokyo International Conference for Africa Development (TICAD7) in Yokohama

He said that acrimony arising from the killings of Nigerians in South Africa necessitated the call for a meeting of the leaders of both countries on how to promptly nip the matter in the bud.

It has been alleged that about 127 Nigerians have been killed in three years in South Africa, while 13 out of these were reportedly killed by South African police.

The recent one was the death of a 46-year-old businessman, Pius Ezekwem allegedly killed by the South African police before his wife.

Also read: It’s a shame that one feels more secured in Europe, America than Nigeria – Archbishop Obinna

Nigerians over the years had victims of xenophobic killings by South African citizens who often unjustifiably accuse them of robbing them of job opportunities in their own countries.

Some Nigerian students had recently staged a range of protests in the corporate offices of South African companies in Nigeria, threatening to shut them down if the killings of their fellow citizens in South Africa continued.

But Ramaphosa told Nigerian journalists that his country’s justice system had already taken up the matter, pointing out that he was not in support of the killings, and insisted that there was no justifiable reason for anybody to be killed.

He described the meeting he had with Buhari as a good forum for both South Africa and Nigeria to renew the bond of unity between them and simultaneously share together issues of common interest in the overall interest of the African continent.

According to him, “Well, no, no, we are going to be discussing all that because we have very good relations. We ‘ll talk about the issue of Nigerians who are dying in South Africa.

“We feel very upset about that.

“Obviously, our criminal justice system is working on it. We don’t support killings. Nobody should ever be killed, but it’s also good to use this opportunity here in Japan to renew the bond between us, to talk about common things between South Africa and Nigeria. We know we have to play key roles in the overall development of the continent”.

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