The Federal Government on Wednesday dismissed media reports that Nigerians were being killed in South Africa, saying only their properties and those of other nationals were being destroyed following the Xenophobic attacks in that country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this when he addressed State House correspondents after closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Onyeama regretted that the reports had distorted the situation and impacted on the federal government response on the incident.
“Of course a lot of things have been circulating in social media which have not helped matters. Some of them have really distorted the situation and because of that has impacted in our response.
“So, number one is that the information we have from the High Commission, from the Consul General in South Africa is that no Nigerian life has been lost during this crisis.
“And I think that is very important because, on social media, there is a lot of stories going around of Nigerians being killed, jumping off buildings and being burnt. This is not the case.
“What we know is that premises, shops of Nigerians have been looted and property destroyed,’’ he said.
According to Onyeama, a red line has been drawn between Nigeria and South Africa over the lingering attacks, noting that African countries have built consensus against the attacks.
“We want to assure all Nigerians that this government is determined, that red line has been drawn and that we will not cave in on this occasion.
“The South African government has to assume its responsibilities and protect Nigerians in South Africa and we have to hold them to account and they have to do that as well as pay full compensation,’’ he added.
The minister confirmed that the Ambassador of Nigeria to South Africa would soon be recalled for consultation, adding “Enough is enough – we are going to address it once and for all this time. This is the position of the government.’’