As we countdown to the inauguration of the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Friday, 29th May, 2015, Nigerian students, under the aegis of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has warned South African President, Jacob Zuma, not to touch down in Nigeria for the inauguration ceremony.
Speaking on Friday, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke, had disclosed that no fewer than 50 Heads of State and other delegates were being expected to attend the May 29 handing over ceremony. He also made it clear that all the 54 Heads of State in Africa, including South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, had been invited to grace the occasion.
This did not go down well with the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), who took to various media platform to voice their resentment.
A statement credited to the President of the NANS, Tijani Usman, explained that it was disheartening and rather unfortunate that the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma has refused to apologize to Nigerians and other African countries who lost their investments, lives and properties in the xenophobic attacks that occurred in his country. And so, he should stay back in his country as his visit will be an insult to the sensibility of Nigerians.
The association promised to lay siege at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Friday should Zuma decide call their bluff and step into the country.
The nonchalant attitude of the South African president during and after the attacks that claimed lives and destroyed properties worth millions of dollars has made NANS declare that they will destroy all South African business interests in the country if the xenophobic attacks should occur again.
Read excerpts from the statement below:
“We wish to advise the South African President (Jacob Zuma) to rather stay at home and address burning issues, rather than embarking on a visit that is the least desirable.
“The South African President’s failure to apologise to Nigeria for the losses the country and our citizens incurred during the xenophobic attacks on foreigners leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. There is therefore, no point felicitating with a people who clearly do not matter much to you. President Zuma’s visit will only amount to pretense.”