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.”