The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday urged the federal government to immediately recall its ambassador from South Africa, and sue the country’s Zulu King at the International Criminal Court, over ongoing xenophobic attacks.
Violence has continued in South Africa as locals target foreigners, with at least seven migrants killed.
After three weeks of unrest, the South African government deployed troops to the streets Tuesday. The government said 300 people have been arrested.
The motion to recall the Nigerian diplomat was moved by Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba. The Senate, subsequently, considered five prayers for the motion.
Apart from calling for immediate recall of the Nigerian ambassador to South Africa, the legislators said the federal government should sue the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, who incited the attacks, at the International Criminal Court.
While deliberating on the xenophobic attacks going on in South Africa, the legislators invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali, to brief the committee on foreign affairs on the situation and the measures taken to safeguard the lives and property of the Nigerians in South Africa.
The Senate also urged the federal government to pressurize the South African government to call the perpetrators of the evil act to justice and ensure adequate compensation of the affected families.
In addition, the legislators commended Nigerians for their restraint in the face of the attacks.
Nkechi Nwogu representing Abia South senatorial district thanked the Senate leader for bringing the motion to the senate.
“This is not the first time that South Africa and their youth have gone after international communities.
“The same thing happened in 2008 and what happened to the perpetrators when it happened.
“We must ensure that we get to the bottom of things and should make sure that the South African government pays dearly for it.
Abdul Ningi, representing Bauchi central, said the South African government should be suspended from the African Union.
“It is important that we review the cracks of our foreign policy.
“Xenophobia is not new but we always sweep it under the carpet,” he said.
Ita Enang, representing Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district called for the boycotting of DSTV and MTN by Nigerians. He said the Nigerian government should promote Glo and Daarsat.
The Senate president, David Mark, said South Africa should not stretch Nigeria beyond her limits as she would be forced to act.
“What is happening in South Africa is totally unacceptable and unexpected.
“All of you have clearly enumerated the assistance we gave to South Africa to liberate them when they had their crises, gave them scholarships, trained their staff and this is how they treat us?
“For them to repay us this way I think it is totally unacceptable and uncalled for.
“We need to stand up also for all other Africans in South Africa.
“The African Parliament must take this up seriously as we cannot have a situation where one king gets up and begins to say that people should go away.
“That is preaching hatred and is unacceptable.
“I agree with most of you that we have a responsibility to protect our Citizens. In fact that is our first responsibility and we must do that without thinking twice.
“South Africa must show Nigeria and the rest of Africa that they have taken legal steps against those who are involved,” Mr. Mark said.
He said the Senate should also transmit its resolutions to the South African Parliament.