Not a few found President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to South Africa funny, coming shortly after the recent xenophobic attacks on foreigners, mostly Nigerians. Indeed, the development had forced a majority of Nigerians back home, even when such a decision was not by choice.
Since the incident that almost cost the two countries their long kept diplomatic ties, many Nigerians had queried the disposition of President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, which had insinuated that the SA government might have through its body language, nodded to the development.
However, apart from sending emissaries here which was a move first made by the Nigerian government in the heat of the crisis, the South African president hasn’t deemed it fit to step foot here and engage effectively on the situation. Yet the Nigerian president left for the former apartheid country in the week.
Even worse was that neither President Ramaphosa nor his deputy, David Mabuza, was at the airport to receive Buhari. In their place, South Africa sent the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr. Naledi Pandor and his counterpart in the ministry of social development, Lindiwe Zulu.
And to cap it all, the Nigerian flag was wrongly designed. Whilst our normal design is vertical, SA chose to honour Buhari with her horizontal version. Well, in diplomatic quarters, that’s enough said in coded messages. Let Buhari’s aides decode it.