Former Governor of Abia State and Senator-elect, Abia North Senatorial District, Dr. Orji Kalu, has urged the South African Government to sustain the economic, political and social ties between Nigerian and South Africa.
Kalu, while acknowledging the age-long bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, admonished Nigerians living in South Africa to be good ambassadors of Nigeria.
Lamenting the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, the former governor urged appropriate authorities in Nigeria and South Africa to fashion out appropriate strategies to prevent recurrence.
Kalu made these remarks on Tuesday during a visit to former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at his residence in Johannesburg.
He said: “The relationship between Nigeria and South Africa has been growing from strength to strength.
“Both countries share a lot in common.
“The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Africa has been impressive over the years.
“The two countries must consolidate on the established economic, political and social ties.
“Nigerians and South Africans are accommodating, friendly and hardworking.
“These attributes are outstanding and remarkable and as such both countries must leverage on these potentials to develop Nigeria and South Africa.
“No country can do it alone.
“We must continue to build, develop and sustain diplomatic relationships so as to sustain the global community.
“Every country has her strengths and weaknesses.
“Working together as a people to build a global village should be our focus.”
The former governor while applauding the humanitarian gestures of Mbeki through its foundation, Thabo Mbeki Foundation, and other initiatives, called on other African leaders to emulate the extraordinary qualities of the former South African President.
Kalu urged the Nigerian community in South Africa to shun violence and other social vices, stressing that it is only in an atmosphere of peace that development can thrive.
Earlier in his remarks, the former South African President extolled Kalu’s virtues, noting that the senator-elect has contributed to the social, economic and political development of Nigeria and beyond.