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Buhari withdraws Nigeria’s ambassador from South Africa over xenophobic attacks

Nigeria has recalled its ambassador to South Africa, Kabiru Bala, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) is reporting.

The development follows recent xenophobic attacks by South Africans on Nigerians and other Africans.

Nigeria has also, on Wednesday, pulled out of the World Economic Summit (WEF) holding in Cape Town.

This signals a rift in diplomatic ties between Nigeria and South Africa.

On Tuesday, Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama summoned the South African high commissioner to the country, Bobby Moroe, over the attacks.

President Buhari also sent a special envoy to South Africa to demand answers.

A section of the Nigerian media suggests South African president Cyril Ramaphosa who, months ago, openly criticised foreign business owners, could be blamed for the recent xenophobic attacks.

“Everybody just arrives in our townships and rural areas, and set up businesses without licences and payments” Ramaphosa said while addressing thousands of supporters in March, TheCable reported.

Meanwhile, Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage has pulled out of a DSTV (another South African company) even in protest against the xenophobic attacks.

“I refuse to watch the barbaric butchering of my people in South Africa,” Savage said.

“This is sick. For this reason I will not be performing at the upcoming DSTV delicious festival in Johannesburg on the 21st of September.”

There have also been reprisal attacks in Nigeria against South African companies including MTN and Shoprite.

MTN, in particular, shut its offices across Nigeria after protesters set its facilities in Ibadan and Abuja on fire.

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