Killing of 118 Nigerians in S/Africa unacceptable – Senate President




Lawan walks
Barely five days after condemning the wanton killings of Nigerians resident in South Africa and warning that “enough is enough”, the Senate, Monday, reiterated its position to South African High Commissioner to Nigeria Bobby Moroe.

Moroe had led a delegation of South African diplomats in Nigeria to brief the Senate leadership on his government’s investigations to unravel the causes of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps taken to stop it.Issuing the warning on behalf of the Senate and by extension, the federal government of Nigeria, Senate President Ahmad Lawan told the envoy to get the message across to his home country as Nigeria would not tolerate such killings again.  

He said the totality of such attacks claimed lives of 118 Nigerians.Lawan said more worrisome is that based on available records, 13 of the killings were carried out by the South African Police. 

He further stated: “We in the parliament must speak and prevent any further killings. These killings must stop. This is the era of social media where corpse of a victim may spark violence that may go beyond the control of government.

“The South African government must, as matters of urgency, do whatever it takes to protect the lives and property of Nigerians living there, just as Nigerian government remains committed to the safety of South Africans residing here and their investments.

“I believe we have had enough and we will no longer take it anymore. We want to write the names of Nigerians killed, and the South African parliament must act fast to put a stop to this menace.

“Over the years, 118 Nigerians have been killed, while 13 out of these were killed by South African Police.

He recalled the enormous contributions of Nigeria to South Africa during the apartheid rule, saying “we must establish events leading into these killings, including the recent one of Mrs. Elizabeth Chukwu, who was killed in her hotel room.”

Lawan commended the envoy for the visit and updates given on the cause of Mrs Chukwu’s death.

Earlier, Mr. Moroe, who expressed regret over the killings of Nigerians and extended his country’s condolences to the families of the victims, said an inquest had been instituted to investigate all cases of xenophobic attacks in the country.

The inquest, he said, would reveal the cause of the menace and find solutions across board.

He reiterated the commitment of South African government and its law enforcement agencies to get to the root of the matter while bringing to book perpetrators of the attacks.

“Our government will continue to be committed to the good relationship with Nigeria. Your sentiment has gone deep into our heart, and you will be happy that the same sentiment has been our concern in South Africa.

“On behalf of the government of South Africa, we express our sincere condolences to Nigerian government for this unfortunate incident,” he stated. 

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