XENOPHOBIA | Senate threatens South Africa with retaliations

by on March 1, 2017
Nigerian lawmakers have declared that this is the last time they will condone any xen­ophobic attack on Nigeri­ans living in South Africa.
The two chambers of the National Assembly, which reacted to the renewed at­tacks on Nigerians in South Africa, threatened that they would retaliate any such ac­tions in the future.
The warning came from the Senate and House of Representatives Joint Com­mittee on Foreign Affairs at an interactive session with the Minister of State for For­eign Affairs, Khadija Bukka Abba.
The committee, chaired by Senator Monsurat Sun­monu (Oyo Central) and Hon. Nnenna Ukeje, had invited the minister to brief NASS on the ugly incident to enable the parliament take a stand on the Nige­ria-South Africa relations.
After listening to the submissions of the minister, the committee warned that Nigeria would no longer fold its arms and allow its citizens be killed in cold blood in South Africa, insisting that: “Enough is enough; henceforth it would be a tooth for a tooth.”
At the Senate session, the lawmakers resolved to send a delegation to meet their South African counterparts with a view to addressing the menace.
The resolutions followed a motion sponsored by Sena­tor Rose Oko and four others, who warned that if nothing was done urgently, Nigerians would be continuously sub­jected to more attacks by the unrepentant South Africans.
Senator Oko, who led the debate on the motion, noted with serious concern the re­turn of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa as well as extrajudicial killings.
She stated that in the early hours of Saturday, 18th of Feb­ruary, 2017, South Africans re­portedly attacked and looted businesses owned by Nigeri­ans in Pretoria as confirmed by Ikechukwu Anyene, the Pres­ident of the Nigeria Union in South Africa and the media.
The lawmaker lament­ed that one Tochukwu Nnadi was on 29th December, 2016, killed in an extrajudicial man­ner through strangulation by the South African police.
According to her, these in­cidents violated Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 4 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peo­ple’s Rights; and Sections 11 and 35 of the 1996 Constitu­tion of the Republic of South Africa.
Senators who took turns to comment on the matter all made reference to the central role Nigeria played in liberat­ing South Africa from apart­heid government in the coun­try for decades.
The Deputy Senate Pres­ident Ike Ekweremadu, told the Senate that it took the sup­port and commitment of Ni­geria to get South Africa out of the apartheid regime.
The Senate Chief Whip, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, said: “It breaks my heart that after doing so much for South Afri­ca, they have forgotten so soon and have turned around to pay Nigeria with unwarranted at­tacks and killings of our citi­zens.”

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