Thursday, 8 March 2012

FES PRESS STATEMENT(Communique of the Society for International Relations Awareness (SIRA)

Communique of the Society for International Relations Awareness (SIRA) The Society for International Relations Awareness (SIRA) at its 5th Assembly held in Lagos on Wednesday 7th March, 2012 , deliberated on various issues concerning the society and nation with respect to foreign affairs. SIRA noted with concern, the deteriorating relations between Nigeria and South Africa following the latter’s deportation of 125 Nigerians and the retaliation by Nigeria. The current face off might be symptomatic of the diplomatic disagreements between both nations which surfaced in differences over several important African and global issues. It is common knowledge that South Africa has over the years treated Nigeria and its citizens with contempt even at its High Commission in Nigeria. Also, it should be noted that defenceless Nigerians have been victims of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Given the foregoing, SIRA endorses the action of the Nigerian Government in its retaliation by deporting South Africans. SIRA asks the Nigerian Government to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Nigeria is no longer prepared to tolerate the shabby treatment of Nigerians wherever they may be in the world. It is also important that Government should have adequate records of foreigners in the country and strengthen its agencies such as the Customs and Excise, Immigration and the Internal Affairs Ministry, to perform their statuary responsibilities effectively. On a final note, SIRA notes that Nigeria and South Africa are two of the most powerful countries in the continent, and that the current disagreements will cause distractions from Africa’s main challenges. Also, foreign powers may seek to profit from the disagreements. Given these, SIRA calls on both countries to meet urgently and resolve their differences in the interests of their citizens and the continent. Prof Nuhu Yaqub Owei Lakemfa SIRA Chairperson. SIRA Public Affairs Committee Chair

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