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South Africa President Arrives Nigeria Today as Omicron Concern Heightens

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South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will arrive in Nigeria today (Tuesday) for a three-day official visit amid the threat of a new variant of COVID-19.

It was gathered that Ramaphosa will be treated to a presidency dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He is also scheduled to hold talks with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday. 

As part of preparations to receive the South African President, the Nigerian Army urged residents in the Federal Capital Territory not to panic at the sound of gunshot between today and Wednesday.

A statement issued by the assistant director of public relations, captain Godfrey Abakpa noted that a total of 21 gun salutes would be fired to welcome the South African President.

South Africa has been in the eye of the storm as it alerted the world of a new variant of COVID-19, which has been named Omicron by the World Health Organisation.

Several countries have been imposing travel bans on Southern African countries to curb the spread of the variant, a move Ramaphosa described as discriminatory.

Nigerian government while reacting to the development said it stood by South Africa.

It was further learnt that the South African delegation will not be subjected to rigorous COVID-19 protocol on arrival.

Although the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said Omicron has not been detected in Nigeria, the Canadian government on Monday announced that the two cases of the variant it recorded are Nigerian travellers.

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