By Dipo Olowookere
President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted to have a crucial meeting with his and South African counterpart, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, in October this year.
The South African President had an earlier sent a letter of invitation to President Buhari, but at his country home in Daura, Katsina State, on Saturday, the Nigerian leader put a phone call through to Mr Ramaphosa to agree on a date to have the discussions.
Mr Ramaphosa had said in his invitation to his counterpart that, “Your visit will provide an excellent opportunity for our sister countries to further consolidate and advance our strategic partnership and cooperation on matters of peace, security and socio-economic development in our continent.
“We will discuss issues of mutual interest and concern in global governance.”
In their telephone conversation yesterday, Mr Buhari said he would use the meeting to discuss issues relating to well-being of citizens and ways to further strengthen trade relations between the two largest African economies.
Confirming this on Sunday morning, Mr Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, said President Buhari accepted an invitation to visit the country to further “consider recurrent issues concerning wellbeing of the Nigerian community in South Africa, and the need to promote trade and investment.”
Mr Shehu stated that President Ramaphosa said the meeting will provide an opportunity to inaugurate a bi-national commission for both countries to “effect the strategic decisions taken in 2016 to elevate it to the level of Heads of State.”
Business Post reports that in recent times, there have been tensions among citizens of both nations as a result of killing of Nigerians living in South Africa due to xenophobia.
In retaliation, some Nigerians have staged protests at offices of South African companies operating in the country, threatening them to leave.
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