President Buhari recalls Nigeria's contribution to a free South Africa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday went down memory lane, recalling roles played by Nigeria in engendering majority rule in South Africa, and ending the apartheid segregationist policy.
Receiving in audience Mr Jeff Radebe, Special Envoy of President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa at State House, Abuja, and the President recounted that he was a junior military officer to Generals Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun Obasanjo, who were military heads of state at different times in the mid to late 1970s.
He Nigeria was quite committed to the South African cause making sacrifices, which younger people of today may not know.
President Buhari recalled late president Mugabe’s commendation of Nigeria role in the fight against apathies during their last visit to South Africa which he said was very emotional and extended appreciation to President Ramaphosa, through the Special Envoy, for coming to explain to Nigeria what happened in South Africa recently, leading to killing and displacement of foreigners.
President Buhari responded to profuse apologies from the South African President, pledging that relationship between the two countries “will be solidified,” while describing the xenophobic attacks as “very unfortunate.”
Mr Radebe apologized on behalf of his President for what he called “acts of criminality and violence” that recently occurred, adding that “such do not represent south African value system, nor those of the larger number of South Africans.”
Radebe also responded to questions bordering on compensation saying the matter would be discussed during president Buhari state visit to South Africa next month
He said South Africa was an integral part of Africa and is fully committed to peace and integration of the continent.
The Special Envoy disclosed that 10 people died during the attacks – two Zimbabweans and eight South Africans. He said there was no Nigerian casualty.
He added that South Africa remains eternally grateful for the role Nigeria played in ending apartheid and hoped that the coming visit of the Nigerian President would solidify the relationship between the two countries once again.