Following the resurgence of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other African Nationals in South Africa, the Senate has resolved to send a delegation of legislators to the country’s parliament in order to register Nigeria’s discomfort at the ugly development.
The resolution followed extensive argument on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday after Rose Oko, a lawmaker from Cross River State read a motion to the effect.
She said that the return of xenophobia as well as the extra-judicial killings of Nigerians in South Africa, can no longer be tolerated.
She cited an example of Tochukwu Nnadi, a Nigerian who was allegedly strangulated by the South African Police on December 29, 2016.
Oko also relayed to the plenary a report from Ikechukwu Anyene, the President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, confirming the attack and looting of businesses belonging to Nigerians.
The lawmaker said it was sad that such attacks have continued in spite of Nigeria’s remarkable contribution to ending the apartheid regime in South Africa.
Senate President Bukola Saraki condemned the xenophobic attacks adding that Nigeria has enjoyed a great relationship with South Africa over the years.
He however noted that the dignity and respect for Nigerians must be preserved and that government “must be seen to be defending our people at all times.”
Having deliberated on the motion, the Senate resolved to among other things “lead a delegation of Nigerian Legislators to the South African parliament to address the ugly trend.”
Also, the lawmakers summoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, “to provide insight into Government’s plans towards engaging the South African government to effectively end the xenophobic attacks that just resurfaced and the growing incidence of extra-judicial killings of Nigerians.”
The lawmakers also urged the federal government to “reconsider Nigeria’s diplomatic ties with South Africa if the ugly incidents of xenophobic attacks and killings of Nigerians in South Africa are not urgently halted by the South African Government.”