The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday that Nigerians resident
in South Africa and Yemen are safe in spite of the ongoing conflicts in
the two countries.
While South Africa is witnessing xenophobic attacks, Yemen is engulfed in
Houthi rebels onslaught to push government out of power.
The Director, Immigration and Consular Services in the ministry, Ambassador
Abdulhameed Dankano, said that no Nigerian had been killed in the crises.
Dankano’s reaction followed reports that two Nigerians had been killed in
the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South African uprising in Yemen.
“No Nigerian has been killed so far in South Africa. The ministry has been
in touch with the Head of Mission in South Africa and as we speak he is in
touch with the South African authorities.
“He is in Durban meeting with the Minister of Home Affairs on how to
safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians and other foreigners.
“He has also been meeting with the Nigerian associations in South Africa on
the need to take precautionary measures in safeguarding their lives and
property,” he said.
Dankano explained that one of the issues the South Africans had against
foreigners was the large number of them that were undocumented.
He said one of the objectives of the meeting between the South African
authorities and Heads of Mission was how to reduce the number of
undocumented foreigners in the country.
He, however, said that evacuating Nigerians was not among the options for
now, as none of them had been attacked as far as the information at the
disposal of the ministry was concerned.
On Yemen, Dankano explained that 46 families had been documented by the
ministry for onward evacuation to Nigeria.
“We are in touch with Nigerians in Yemen and they are safe where they are.
We do not have a mission in Yemen but we are coordinating their evacuation
through the Nigerian mission in Saudi Arabia.
“We are also in touch with the International Organisation for Migration
(IOM) to safeguard their lives and property.
“They will be evacuated any moment from now; the logistics are being put in
place,” he said.
President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, had
urged the Federal Government to help halt the xenophobic attacks on
Nigerians in that country.
Anyene said Nigerians resident in some South African cities had gone into
hiding to avoid being attacked by South Africans. There are more than
800,000 Nigerians living in South Africa.