The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Federal Government to recall Nigeria’s ambassador to South Africa back home for “consultations” over the widespread attacks and killing of non-South African Blacks, especially Nigerians in that country.
Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have lately claimed lives and means of livelihood of many Nigerians, resulting in businesses and homes being shut for days.
A motion debated by lawmakers in Abuja, highlighted the plight of African migrants in South Africa, whom the House said were being “slaughtered like animals” by their South African brothers.
The motion stressed that Nigerians were among the victims.
The House specifically requested South African President, Jacob Zuma, to immediately investigate the attacks and punish those responsible.
The motion was sponsored by Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Photo: THE TIMES
“Nigeria frowns on the spate of killings of Nigerians in South Africa and requests President Zuma to investigate the cases and bring the perpetrators to justice,” she stated.
Dabiri-Erewa noted that though, Nigerians had suffered xenophobic attacks in the past in South Africa, the latest cases were ignited by comments credited to the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, who had reportedly asked migrant Africans to return to their countries of origin.
The motion read further, “The House notes sadly that the recent attacks which have left many dead, businesses and shops vandalised, many beaten up mercilessly, were incited by a statement allegedly made by South African Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, who told African migrants to go home as they are no longer welcomed in South Africa.
“Son of President Zuma, Edward, allegedly echoed the same statement. This ignited a strong debate, and worse still, immediate backlash of violent reactions among the Zulus in Kwazulu, who unleashed terror on foreign immigrants, including Nigerians in Jo-bourg, Durban and Pretoria.
“They steal, break into their homes, businesses, take their properties, killing them.
“At least five have been killed in Durban, hundreds stranded and unable to return home.”
Many members, who contributed to the debate, expressed sadness over the turn of events in South Africa.
They recalled with pain, the sacrifices Nigeria made to free South Africa from the clutches of Apartheid.
“What is happening in South Africa is a demonstration of the shortness of their memory,” one member from Enugu State, Mr. Tobi Okechukwu, said.
Mr. Abubakar Momoh from Kogi State, advised South Africans to turn their anger against those who oppressed them and not fellow Africans who gave so much to secure their freedom.
The motion was passed in a unanimous voice vote at Thursday session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal.