The Nigerian High Commission in South Africa recently issued a warning to its citizens residing in the country regarding potential violent attacks. This caution was prompted by inflammatory online comments made by South Africans against Nigerians.
In response, the South African government has dismissed Nigeria's safety concerns, labeling them a false alarm. Clayson Monyela, the spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), addressed the situation in a statement, expressing regret over the advisory and suggesting that it creates unnecessary tension between South African and Nigerian citizens.
DIRCO emphasized the lack of a history of soccer-related violence during encounters between the South African national soccer team, Bafana Bafana, and their Nigerian counterparts, the Super Eagles.
The agency asserted that soccer hooliganism has not been associated with the outcomes of such matches. Despite Nigeria's High Commission expressing apprehension about the safety of its citizens, DIRCO conveyed confidence that the sports-loving nation of South Africa poses no threat to Nigerians.
In response to the advisory, DIRCO urged diplomatic representatives to approach them to address any concerns about diplomatic matters.
The agency emphasized the importance of resolving such issues through diplomatic channels, as they have done with similar alarming advisories in the past. The statement from DIRCO comes as Nigeria's Super Eagles are set to face South Africa's Bafana Bafana in the semi-final of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) later today.