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Zuma Dares Nigerian Students, Storm Nigeria For Inauguration

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The President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma departed South Africa for Nigeria on Thursday, May 28, 2015 to attend the inauguration of the president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, reports Times Live of South Africa.

Mr. Zuma’s trip will be a ”working visit” and apart from Mr. Buhari’s inauguration, it will also give the two presidents the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) earlier said the South African President should stay away from Buhari’s inauguration, following the spate of xenophobic attacks and the way  in which his government handled it. The group maintained that President Zuma should stay at home and address burning issues, rather than embarking on a visit that, in their opinion, was least desirable, and that his visit would be an insult to the emotional awareness of Nigerians over his alleged poor handling of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other migrant foreigners in South Africa.

The student body even threatened to storm the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, should President Zuma step into the country’s airport.

In a statement released by the department of international relations and co-operation‚ President Zuma expressed “his commitment to working closely with Buhari to enhance the good bilateral relations which exist between SA and Nigeria‚ paying particular focus on the strengthening of economic co-operation”.

”President Zuma also congratulated the people of Nigeria for conducting a peaceful, transparent, credible, free and fair election as declared by the Independent National Election Commission of Nigeria (INEC).”

Zuma will also use the visit “to further strengthen and consolidate historic and strategic relations between the two countries‚ and to discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern”.

Since the creation of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) in 1999‚ the statement said‚ the “two countries have already signed 34 bilateral agreements and co-operation continues to grow”.

Zuma will be accompanied by Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Co-operation.

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