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South African President, Ramaphosa, arrives Nigeria, meets Buhari in Presidential Villa, Abuja

  • Meeting holding amid Omicron COVID-19 concerns

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday morning received the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Ramaphosa arrived at the Villa at about 10 am and was received by Buhari.

The South African President inspected a guard of honour and was treated to a 21-gun salute. The two Presidents then moved in for bilateral and one and one meetings. They are expected to hold a joint Press Conference after.

Ramaphosa’s visit to the Villa is coming hours after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the first three cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria, saying they are linked to passengers from South Africa.

West Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed concern that at least four African countries had imposed ‘unscientific’ travel restrictions on South Africa.

Shortly before leaving his country for a whirlwind State visits to Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa had some harsh words for countries that have restricted travel to South Africa since the Omicron variant was identified. 

Ramaphosa, whose visit to West African sub-region was to discuss economic recovery efforts in Africa post-Covid-19, called for the “unscientific” and “discriminatory” travel restrictions be lifted.

“We’ve rejected this notion that is being propagated by more developed economies and some smaller countries, that the Omicron variant should lead to a blockage and a ban of travel,” Ramaphosa told a group of journalists on Tuesday. 

“We reject this in the strongest of terms.”

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