By Maureen Okon
Abuja Oct. 6 2020 Mr Thami Mseleku, the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria says the mission is ready to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to fight crime in both countries.
A statement by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head of Media and Public Relations Unit of NiDCOM on Monday, quoted Mseleku as calling for concerted efforts by both countries to isolate criminals creating bad image for South Africa and Nigeria.
The statement indicated that the newly appointed South African envoy said this when he led a delegation on a courtesy call on Dabiri-Erewa.
Amb. Mseleku spoke of an urgent need to activate the Early Warning System (EAS) under the Bi-National Commission signed by the two countries to stem the tide of criminality.
He explained that under the system, security and intelligence network as well as people-to-people relations would be greatly achieved.
“So all these rumours labbeling Nigerians as criminals are not true just as not all South Africans are xenophobic in nature.
“A criminal is a criminal and must be dealt with according to the laws of the land, and I am urging the South African police not to support any form of criminality,” he said.
The envoy alleged that some politicians were behind some of the crises in South Africa using it for political gains against Nigerians.
He debunked social media reports that Nigerians had been asked to leave South Africa, saying that Nigerians are excelling in all fields of human endeavours and contributing significantly to South Africa’s development.
He noted that the case of xenophobia and the issues therein in South Africa, are a result of perception of the two nations.
He said he was working closely with the Nigerian Embassy in South Africa to foil the wiles of fake news authors, who use their materials to cause friction between the two countries, through monitoring of information and knowledge-sharing.
Responding, the NiDCOM chief emphasised that many Nigerians living in South Africa are contributing immensely to the development of the two countries.
She said that lack of knowledge on the part of some people in South Africa was responsible for the xenophobic attacks on black people, stressing that the Commission is ready to work with the High Commissioner to nip it in the bud.
Dabiri-Erewa expressed the view that the few Nigerians, who indulged criminal activities should be punished in line with the laws of the countries of their residence, while those excelling should be celebrated.