Reps summon minister over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians

Reps summon minister over xenophobic attacks on Nigerians

House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations has summoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

It was gathered that the invitation was to get an update on the actions taken so far by the Federal Government to protect Nigerians in South Africa.

The committee is also expected to discuss the option of exploiting diplomatic channels through which Nigeria can push for intervention from the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the South African Development Community (SADC) on the matter.

During the interactive session, Sunday Sun further learnt, the minister would also brief the lawmakers on how many Nigerians had been compensated for their losses during the 2015 xenophobic attacks before pushing for compensation for the victims of the fresh attacks.

Chairman of the committee, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, told Sunday Sun that the minister had kept the committee abreast with the actions taken by the Federal Government.

According to her, it has become necessary for the parliament to support the Federal Government in any initiative that could prevent a re-occurrence of attacks on Nigerians.

Ukeje called on the South African government to sure that those found culpable of the attacks were brought to justice. This is even as she prescribed payment of adequate compensation to Nigerian citizens whose property were destroyed, adding that the decision of the House to send representatives to South Africa was done in support of actions already taken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Wednesday, the House passed a resolution to send a delegation of legislators and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage the parliament of South Africa with a view to putting an end to xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

She said: “By constitutional provisions, we will deal with the issue through dialogue, through conversations to reconciliation. I believe the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has invited the Ambassador of South Africa to Nigeria. They’ve spoken to him and he’s given an unreserved apology. We are going to be asking as a country that the perpetrators of this crime be brought to book. We’re also going to be collating the losses to Nigeria citizens for compensation to be paid.”

“We can lobby other countries to get stringent international sanctions for xenophobia through AU, ECOWAS”, she added.

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