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Xenophobia: Why I Asked Nigerians To Return To South Africa-Obasanjo




Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has explained why he advised Nigerians evacuated from South Africa following the xenophobic attacks to return their.

According to him, his decision is hinged on the fact that a meeting between President Buhari and Cyril  Ramaphosa, next month will yield a positive outcome.

Obasanjo said Buhari and Ramaphosa should be ready to make the right statements that would encourage the Nigerians who returned home to go back to South Africa.

Asked about his discussion with Ramaphosa last week, he said, “I took the opportunity of being in South Africa to actually pay a courtesy call on President Cyril Ramaphosa and he quickly granted me the opportunity.One of the major things we discussed was this issue of xenophobia or Afrophobia.

“The President told me that there was so much at stake and whatever mistake we had made, we had to correct it. And I think that was a very good statement and I know that he meant it, because he immediately said ‘what can we do or should we do?’

On the Nigerians evacuated from South Africa, Obasanjo said,  “I hope  they will  go back to the South Africa from what I heard from President Ramaphosa. Like I  said, the meeting that President Buhari and President Ramaphosa will have during the  first week of October should smooth the ground. And the right statements  and the right action coming from both sides should encourage our people to go back.But, as I have always said that Nigerians living outside Nigeria must try to be good citizens of wherever they live.”


According to him, Ramophosa is ready to bring back the mutual understanding between Nigeria and South Africa. He said, “I believe the President of South Africa did the right thing to quickly send emissaries to apologise to the countries that were affected (xenophobic attacks), countries like Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique and I think this was good.”

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