The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, on Tuesday in Abuja, said the Nigerian government will demand N84 million from South Africa to pay victims of xenophobic attacks. Mr. Wali stated this while briefing the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on his visit to South Africa. Mr. Wali said the attacks were instigated by some chiefs to kill Nigerians in their country. He, however, noted that the South African government was not in support of the killings. Giving a rundown of damages done by Nigerians, Mr. Wali said:
“Total of Nigerians wounded or hospitalized is two, shops looted and damaged five, number of displaced Nigerian men is two, number of displaced women six, and number of displaced children eight. In terms of these attacks, our situation is minimal and luckily there are no fatalities and there is no serious injury. The assessment in terms of the compensation that we intend to now demand from South Africa when we have our next bi-national commission meeting in Abuja is N84 million.”
Mr. Wali also said Nigerians should be ready for evacuation in case the problem intensifies. He said Nigeria should try to rub minds and assist the South African government to overcome this crisis.
“Recalling an envoy is a very serious matter and there are steps that would be taken,” he said. “What happened in South Africa will not ordinarily warrant the recall of an envoy particularly when Nigerians are still there. You need the full complement of the Nigerian mission there to be able to handle the situation.”
He said an investigation was ongoing on the alleged instructions from King of the Zulus, Goodwill Zwelithini, that South Africans should get rid of fellow Africans stealing their jobs.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Musiliu Obanikoro, said the South African government had stated that unemployment played a major role in the attacks. He also said the Zulu king had publicly condemned the crisis and, being a king, showed a sign of true repentance.