Xenophobic Attacks: Nigerian Senate Sends Strong Delegation To South Africa
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday resolved to send a strong parliamentary delegation to the South Africa parliament to express the country’s dismay over the continuous killing of Nigerians. The upper chamber of the National Assembly also condemned in strong terms the return of xenophobic attacks and extra-judicial killing of Nigerians by the South African police and South Africans.
The resolutions followed a motion sponsored by Senator Rose Oko representing Cross River North. She noted with serious concern and worries the return of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa as well as extral judicial killings. “In the early hours of Saturday 18th February 2017, South Africans reportedly attacked and looted businesses owned by Nigerians in Pretoria as confirmed by Ikechukwu Anyene, President of the Nigerian Union in South Africa and reported by the media,” Oko said.
She observed that the incidents violated Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 4 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and Sections 11 and 35 of the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The Senator further stated that Article 5 of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights holds that no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel inhuman or degrading treatment. She also said the , Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights provides that every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and integrity of his person and that no one may be arbitrarily deprived of this right. “As a signatory to the UN Charter on Human Right and African Charter on Human and People’s Right, it is mandatory on South Africa to respect, promote and observe international laws on human right” Oko said.
She expressed concern that the recent xenophobic attack in Pretoria West in South Africa resulted in the looting and burning of 5 Nigerian businesses one of which a mechanic workshop with 28 cars were under repairs.
The Senator expressed worries that the trend has continued to be on the increase in spite of these efforts as well as the excellent diplomatic and economic ties between Nigeria and South Africa and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by former President Goodluck Jonathan and the South African Leader Jacob Zuma in the wake of the xenophobic violence in 2013.
She noted that South Africa has over 120 companies that are thriving in Nigeria and that the MOU signed in 2013 between Nigeria and South Africa was aimed at finding lasting solutions to the xenophobic attacks and to reinforce the two countries diplomatic cooperation in legal field, oil and gas, power sector development, environment, defence, women development and empowerment as well as child development.
Oko said the extra-judicial killings and xenophobic attacks are not only against the principle and intent of the MOU and all known status but it is also capable of weakening the good diplomatic ties between the two nations.
The motion which was co-sponsored Senator Tejuoso Olarenwaju (Ogun Central), Senator Ibrahim Kurfi (Katsina Central) and Senator Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi Central) was unanimously supported by all the Senators present at the plenary.
In his reaction the Senate President Bukola Saraki as legislature they must be seen to respect the integrity of Nigerians anywhere in the world. He commended Nigerians foe showing restrain by not attacking South African companies in Nigeria