He expressed concern that no fewer than 118 Nigerians have so far been killed in xenophobic attacks over the years, of which the South African Police perpetrated 13.
Lawan made the assertions when he hosted the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe yesterday in Abuja.
Moroe and his delegation visited the Senate leadership on his government’s investigations to unravel the causes of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and steps being taken to stop it.
The Senate President disclosed that the meeting became pertinent considering the incessant attacks on Nigerians residing in South Africa, adding: “We in the Parliament must speak up to prevent any further killings.
“The killings must stop. This is the era of social media where the corpse of a victim may spark violence that may go beyond the government’s control.”
Lawan restated that the South African government should do whatever it takes to protect the lives and property of Nigerians living in that country, just as the Nigerian government would remain committed to the safety of South Africans residing in Nigeria and their investments.
“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 of them were killed by South African Police”.
He recalled Nigeria’s enormous contributions to South Africa during the Apartheid rule, adding: “We must establish events that led to the killings, including Mrs. Elizabeth Chukwu, who was killed recently in her hotel room.”
Nigeria, he insisted, would no longer condone such killings, urging the South African government to, as a matter of responsibility, protect Nigerians residing there.
Responding, Moroe who lamented the killings of Nigerians, extended his country’s condolences to families of the victims, saying an inquest had been instituted to investigate all cases of xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa.
The inquest, he said, would reveal the cause of the menace and find solutions across the board, saying the commitment of the South African government and its law enforcement agencies were committed to unraveling the root of the matter and prosecute perpetrators of the attacks.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has announced plans to embark on massive picketing and protest against all South African businesses in Nigeria.
It has also asked all South African business interests in Nigeria to relocate their businesses to their country.
NANS President Comrade Danielson Akpan, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja after its emergency executive meeting, said the only way to stop further killings of Nigerians in that country was to picket its business entities in Nigeria.
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