Nigeria’s president, retired General Muhammadu Buhari will be South Africa’s special guest for 3 days starting from the 3rd of October, 2019. His visit is expected to deepen diplomatic relations with South Africa and to address issues of mutual national interests in regards to the continent and global affairs.
Buhari is also expected to have a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in South Africa.
I have listed 7 things below which I expect the Nigerian president to address while on his State visit:
1. During his town hall meeting with Nigerians, Buhari must address and condemn the criminal activities among Nigerians living in South Africa, most especially drug peddling, human trafficking and cyber crimes and to urge Nigerian citizens to be law abiding in the host country.
2. The President must request for actionable plans from the South African Presidency towards putting a stop to xenophobia in South Africa.
3. Initiate a cultural exchange program that will provide opportunities for young citizens from South Africa and Nigeria to share experiences and to ultimately initiate healthy citizen to citizen relations.
4. Request for accountability in respect to xenophobic crimes committed against Africans and in particular Nigerians in South Africa. For the sake of justice, South Africa must publish the outcome of investigations and or prosecution of every criminal arrested during the violent riots that targeted African migrants across South Africa.
5. The townhall meeting with Nigerians living in South Africa (and possibly South Africans) must be held as planned; to engage with Nigerians and to hear the views of some of the host community members.
6. The president should address leaders of the various Nigerian community organizations in South Africa to charge them to work together and to play the role of civil society organisations with a common objective to defend justice for Nigerians living in South Africa.
7. The financial and emotional stress imposed by South Africa’s immigration officials at the port of exit through its remarks/endorsements on passports must be addressed. Holders of Temporary Visas or Permanent Resident Permits with the ‘Verify On Arrival’ endorsement on their travel documents leads to airlines refusing to airlift Nigerian passengers to South Africa. Alternatively, such passenger are forced to purchase a return flight ticket. This should be addressed.If you have read the above and would like to add to president Buhari’s to-do-list in South Africa, please feel free to do so in the comment section below.