Seeks recall of Nigeria’s High Commissioner in S/A
By Nuel Suji, Abuja.
Senate on Wednesday condemned the xenophobic attacks in South Africa against Nigerians and other African nationals its strongest terms, urging the Federal Government of Nigeria to drag the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini , who instigated the attacks to the International Criminal Court ( ICC).
Also, the Upper Chamber demanded for recall of Nigeria’s High Commissioner in South Africa, Ambassador S S Yusuf by the Federal Government for consultation
Leading debate on the , the Senate leader, Senator Ndoma Egba with other 105 senators argued that Nigerians living in South Africa have been seriously affected by the crises as no fewer than 50 of them have been reportedly rendered homeless after being displayed by these attacks and about 300 others displaced near Johannesburg.
These according to him, were different from properties and Nigerian’s businesses worth millions of Naira that have been destroyed.
Going the memory lane, the Senators recalled in the motion that prior to 1994, though immigrants faced discrimination and even violence in South Africa , much of that risk stemmed from the institutionalized racism of the time due to apartheid.
However according to him, after democratization in 1994, contrary to expectations, the incidences of xenophobia increased such that between 2000 and March 2008, at least 67 people died in what were identified as xenophobic attacks, likewise in 2008 when a series of riots motivated y xenophobia left 62 people dead.
The senator added that the recent wave of attacks was precipitated by the comments of a renowned Zulu King and while the attacks were going on, some members of the South African Security Forces who ought to quell the violence, were pictured encouraging the perpetrators to continue in their dastardly acts.
He lamented that despite the sacrifices made by this country to put an end to apartheid and ensure the emancipation of South Africa, the peoples of South Africa have continued to maltreat and humiliate Nigerians without just cause .
After exhaustive debates on the motion, the senate approved the five point prayers sought for , the strongest of which were the call it made on the federal government to drag the Zulu king to ICC for needed prosecution and the one also calling on the federal government to recall Nigeria’s High Commissioner in South Africa for consultation.
Senate in the resolution also directed its committee on Foreign Affairs to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to brief it on the situation and measures being taken by the federal government to safeguard the lives and properties of Nigerians in South Africa .
However, in his remarks before the adoption of the resolutions, the Senate President, David Mark warned South Africans, not to stretch Nigeria beyond her limits through all manner of incessant attacks against her citizens in South Africa, just as he urged the African parliament to take up the issue with South African authorities.
He said: “What is happening in South Africa is totally unacceptable, it is unexpected and my humble suggestion will be that South Africa should not stretch us beyond our elastic limit on this matter.
“There is a limit beyond which the nation will not accept what is happening in South Africa and if we go beyond that limit then Nigeria will be forced to act otherwise,” Mark warned.
Adding: “All of you have very clearly enumerated the assistance we gave to South Africa to liberate them when they had their crises; students contributed, we accommodated so many of them, we gave them scholarships.
“For them to repay us this way, I think it is totally unacceptable and uncalled for; we need to stand up also for all other African in South Africa.”