…says South African government must pay compensation to victim’s family
By Okunade Adekunle, Lagos
The Lagos State House of Assembly has urged the Nigeria Federal Government to take decisive actions on ensuring Nigerian Nationals in Diaspora are secured wherever they are and also see to it that the South African government pay compensation to families of Nigerians who were killed and whose properties were destroyed in the scourge of xenophobic attacks.
Hon. Tunde Braimoh brought the matter forward under the matter of urgent public importance, citing the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa on other African Nationals.
Braimoh representing Kosofe constituency II raised the alarm on the unprecedented dimension the attacks assumed on Sunday, as Nigerians in South Africa suffered varied degrees of harm.
“Four,five years ago we have been hearing sad tales from Nigerian Nationals being attacked in South Africa, Zimbabwe Nationals,Zambians and others also suffer same fate.
“Last week the social media was awash with clips and videos of attacks unprecedented,it is unheard of we know what role the Nigeria government played in emancipating them from the grip of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
“The act is barbaric and out of model,the Federal Government must ensure this our Nationals in South Africa does not suffer for fun, their list should be compiled and their families adequately compensated.”
Hon. Adebisi Yusuff, Alimosho constituency I, in his contribution condemned the development, stressing that the South Africa citizens need be well informed on the historical affinities shared between the two countries.
“If this violent youths in South Africa don’t know history let’s tell them,that their foremost freedom fighter and former President,Nelson Mandela once said Nigeria is Africa and if Africa must succeed then Nigeria must succeed.
“So they should thread with caution,here in Nigeria also we should not continue to vandalize South Africa investment as this will heighten challenge on our drive to create jobs for our people and stem unemployment.”
Hon. Rotimi Olowo, representing Somolu Counstituency II in his own submission, said that the xenophobic attacks should be stemmed because it has assumed an alarming dimension.
He said: “We need urge our citizens here not to embark on vandalization of South African investment here as this will affect our employment drive.
“We need to spell out our relationship with them,to ensure whatever fund that accrues is no longer repatriated to South Africa.
“Our Police need be careful not to use guns but tear gas to scare protesters.”
In his own contributions, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti Osa Counstituency II urged the federal government to take decisive actions in addressing the issue.
“This case is painful, because Lagos State government was prompt in forestalling vandalization of their investments here,if the South African did half of what we did the attacks won’t have been much.
“I have friends in professional engagements in South Africa who also suffered attacks so the claim of the drug peddling and criminal tendencies leveled against Nigerian Nationals is neither here nor there.
“I saw a video where Nigerians were attacked,maimed and their vehicles destroyed to signal that they are unwanted migrants there.
“Aside sending envoy to South Africa, just like US did when we increase visa charges here,they responded immediately,so the Nigerian government must take decisive step on the xenophobic attacks on our Nationals.”
The Speaker Rt Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who supported the stance of members, noted that the lackadaisical mien of the South African government on the matter further emboldened their citizen to perpetuate the act.
“We condemn their act and their government’s lackadaisical stance on the matter gave their youths basis to continue the dastard act.
“Our Federal Government should also consider the safety of our Nationals in the Diaspora.
“Recently Sweden arrested a US artiste who had issues with their Nationals and was harassed, America stood up in his defence,our government should also do the needful to protect our Nationals in the Diaspora.
“Same goes for the African Union and the United Nations,this act should not be allowed to fester unchecked.
“Our citizens were however wrong to have maimed our people on account a backlash of South Africa xenophobic attacks,our Police also need to be cautious with the use of guns.
“There are protest ongoing in Hong Kong and no reports of gun shot were heard,the Police should not be trigger happy,the South African government must compensate the victims family.”
Obasa, however, directed the Clerk, Mr Azeez Sanni, to put up letters to appropriate quarters as cited in the debates of the House.