Senate yesterday talked tough on the ongoing attacks on Nigerians and other black migrants in South Africa and asked the Federal Government to immediately recall the Nigeria High Commissioner to South Africa.
While considering a five-prayer motion sponsored by Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba and supported by 106 senators, the Upper Chamber resolved that the Federal Government officially file a suit against the Zulu King before the International Criminal Court, ICC.
The Senate also summoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs to appear before the Committee on Foreign Affairs to brief it on developments in South Africa. It further urged the Executive arm of government to pressure its South Africa counterpart to bring the perpetrators of the evil acts to book and ensure the protection of Nigerians and their businesses in the country.
Senate President David Mark, who presided over plenary, warned that the government and the people of South Africa must not push the Nigerian government too far.
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.
“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 Africans in South Africa,” he said.
Mark described the pictures making the rounds on xenophobic attacks as very barbaric and therefore urged that all those involved must be punished.
While condemning the Zulu King’s comments, Mark said that the South African government must show Nigeria and the rest of Africa that it has taken legal steps against those who are involved in the unwarranted attacks.
Earlier, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, who condemned the attacks, expressed concerns that Nigerians living in South Africa have been affected by the attacks and many rendered homeless.
He said that Nigerians living in South Africa and other foreigners have maintained that immigrants cannot rely on the police for protection because the police maltreat and extort money from them.
Senator Ganiyu Solomon (APC Lagos-West) urged the South African government to apprehend all whose faces have appeared in pictures and videos, carrying out the attacks.
Senator Abdul Ningi (PDP Bauchi-Central) also recalled the contributions he made as a student to ensure the liberation of South Africa and called for the review of the nation’s foreign policy in view of the attacks.
“Africa is the priority in a Nigerian foreign policy, it is important that we look at that; is it still imperative that Africa remains the cornerstone of our foreign policy?
“When South Africans in their deluded minds begin to see what happened as history and swept it under the carpet, one begins to question if it was right to have emancipated them from the shackles of apartheid.
“There has to be a resolution by Nigeria to the African Union, AU, to suspend South Africa from the AU because that is the only thing that will send a clear signal,” he said.
He said that Nigeria needs to review its economic policy with South Africa as the nation has a number of multinationals operating in Nigeria unhindered while Nigeria has none in South Africa.
Senator Boluwaji Kunlere (Ondo South PDP), who also condemned the attacks, said that it was imperative for Nigeria to attach importance to the lives of its citizens.
He said that the people of South Africa might have perceived that “we do not attach importance to lives going by the insurgency witnessed in various parts of Nigeria.
“Because our own countrymen are killed by fellow countrymen, they think they can add to our pains, this is completely wrong,” he said.
Senator Ita Enang said that the fact that it was South Africa attacking Nigeria, makes it more painful considering the history of the two nations.
He said that the Pan-African Parliament should be immediately called to convene and discuss the issue of xenophobic attacks.
Meanwhile, the Senate has received the report of the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Finance on the 2015 Appropriation Bill.
It also received the Report of the Conference Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2015 and approved the appointment of Hon. Justice Amiru Sanusi as a Justice of the Supreme Court.


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