South Africa has denied threatening Nigerians living in or visiting the nation, while urging them to remain calm ahead of the African Cup of Nations semi-finals match between Nigeria and South Africa.
The country made this disclosure following the statement issued by the Nigeria High Commission in South Africa on Monday.
The Nigerian High Commission, in an advisory on Tuesday, urged Nigerians living in South Africa to be watchful.
“Nigerian community to be watchful of their utterances, be mindful of where they choose to watch the match, especially in public places, and refrain from engaging in loud, riotous or provocative celebrations should the Super Eagles win the match,” the statement reads in parts.
The High Commission based its advisory on “potentially inflammatory online comments made by a section of South African citizens against Nigerians living in the host country,” adding that the comments were “largely influenced” by the upcoming AFCON clash on Wednesday, February 7 (today).
While reacting, South Africa’s DIRCO said it doesn’t agree with the Nigerian High Commission, noting that the country poses “no threat to Nigerian citizens,” BBC reports Tuesday.
DIRCO stated further that the High Commission’s advisory seems to create alarm and unnecessary tension between citizens of both nations.
The statement read, “We are confident that the sports-loving nation of South Africa poses no threat to Nigerian citizens, and we do not agree with the apprehension expressed by the High Commission.
“The advisory is regrettable because it seems to create alarm and unnecessary tension between the citizens of South Africa and Nigerians living in or visiting South Africa.”
Nigeria’s Super Eagles meet the Bafana Bafana of South Africa at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake, Cote D’ivoire on Wednesday by 6 p.m., Nigerian time.
This encounter will be the fourth in the tournament’s meeting, with the Eagles winning the three previous games.