Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr. Jim Ovia, has withdrawn from the ongoing World Economic Forum, WEF, activities in South Africa, following the outbreak of xenophobic attacks targeted mostly against Nigerians domiciled in that country.
Ovia and other prominent business moguls, professionals and captains of industries were slated as keynote speakers to headline the WEF events but Ovia has since notified the organisers of his withdrawal.
The development is further fuelled by the diplomatic row the xenophobic attacks on particularly Nigerians and other Africans resident in South Africa has sparked off between Nigeria and South Africa.
The Federal Government has already announced its withdrawal from the events, including recalling its ambassador and closing its embassy in that country and insisting that the South African government must guarantee the safety of Nigerians and pay compensation for the loss of lives and property.
One of Nigeria’s leading airlines, Air Peace, has also positioned a plane to evacuate all Nigerians willing to leave South Africa back to Nigeria.