Xenophobic attacks won't affect relations between SA, Nigeria - ambassador
Nigeria's High Commissioner Kabiru Bala was among diplomats who met officials from the Department of International Relations on Monday and Minister Naledi Pandor to discuss the recent tensions.
JOHANNESBURG - Nigeria's ambassador to South Africa said that the violence in this country, as well as tit-for-tat attacks in Nigeria, would not affect relations between the two countries.
Kabiru Bala was among diplomats who met officials from the Department of International Relations on Monday and Minister Naledi Pandor to discuss the recent tensions.
Bala said that Africans must be taught the benefits of integration for them to understand why states agreed to collaborate.
Relations between the continent's two biggest economies have been under pressure.
Disgruntled South Africans targeted Nigerians first, along with other African foreign nationals, but Bala said that not all was lost.
"And I also see that we will continue to have excellent relations and we must, for the survival of our continent because these are two major economies."
Bala said that ambassadors from some of the richest countries in the world were also concerned about the safety of their nationals because they too lived, worked and studied in South Africa.
"You cannot say that Nigerians are leaving Nigeria because Nigeria is not taking care of them... they have a variety of reasons why they travel."
Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is headed to South Africa next month to mend relations between the two countries.