President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission should be resuscitated in order to further strengthen the warm relations between the two countries.
President Jonathan was speaking to an 8-man delegation from South Africa, led by the Minister of Correctional Services, Mapisa Ngakula, at State House, Thursday.
He said, “we should resuscitate the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission in order to avoid the irritations we have had in the past few weeks and strengthen our relations”, adding that Nigeria and South Africa have come a long way together.
President Jonathan recalled that as Vice President, he headed Nigeria’s delegation to the Bi-National Commission, and said the body was crucial to the growth of cordial relations and mutual understanding between the two countries.
He said Nigeria and South Africa have good economic relations, and emphasized that current warm political relations should be maintained as well.
President Jonathan also spoke about the need for South Africa and Nigeria to cooperate to provide leadership for Africa, which providence has thrust on the two nations.
He thanked the delegation for delivering the message from President Jacob Zuma.
Earlier, Minister Mapisa Ngakula had said the events leading to the deportation of Nigerians recently were not approved by President Jacob Zuma nor the South African Government, and was being investigated with a view to sanctioning whoever may be found culpable.
She said the South African Government had publicly apologized to indicate that the two nations already have excellent brotherly relations which should not be destroyed by actions of staff who do not have the authority to take certain decisions.
She said Nigeria and South Africa need to build on the strong relations already existing, between them through the Bi-National Commission, in order to avoid a recurrence of the unfortunate events of the past few weeks.
The Special Envoy condemned the terrorist attacks in Nigeria, and pledged her country’s commitment to the fight against terrorism wherever it occurs.