118 Nigerians killed in xenophobic attacks in South Africa – Lawan

Ahmed Lawan Senate President
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan

The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, on Monday condemned the continuous killings of Nigerians in South Africa, warning that further attacks on Nigerians would no longer be condoned.

Mr Lawan expressed concern that about 118 Nigerians had so far lost their lives in different attacks over the years, out of which 13 were by the South African Police.

A statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mohammed Isa said Mr Lawan made this known when he hosted the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe.

Mr Moroe and his delegation paid the visit to brief the Senate leadership on his government’s investigations to unravel the causes of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps being taken to stop such.

The meeting, according to Mr Lawan, became pertinent considering the incessant attacks on Nigerians residing across cities in South Africa.

He said “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 a matter of urgency do whatever it takes to protect the lives and property of Nigerians living there, just as Nigerian government remain committed to the safety of South Africans residing here and their investments.

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“I believe we have faced enough, 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 also recalled the enormous contributions of Nigeria to South Africa during the apartheid rule.

“We must establish events leading into these killings, including the recent one of Mrs.Elizabeth Chukwu, who was killed in her hotel room,” he said.

While commending the High Commissioner for the updates, Mr Lawan noted that, “the update on the cause of late Mrs. Chukwu’s death is heartwarming. It is a sign that something has been done in this regards.”

Earlier, Mr Moroe expressed regret over the killings of Nigerians in his country.

He extended the country’s condolences to the families of the victims.

He 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 said.

(NAN)

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