Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Senate President Ahmad Lawan yesterday lamented the killing of Nigerians in South Africa as he put the total death total death toll over the years at 118.
Lawan, while receiving in audience the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Bobby Moroe, said 13 of those killed through various attacks, were murdered by South African policemen.
He condemned the continuous killing of Nigerians in South Africa, warning that further attack on Nigerians would no longer be condoned.
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 the 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 remains committed to the safety of South Africans residing here 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.”
Lawan recalled the contributions of Nigeria to South Africa to free it from apartheid, adding that “we must establish events leading into these killings, including the recent one of Mrs. Elizabeth Chukwu, who was killed in her hotel room.”
Nigeria, he said, would no longer condone such killings, and urged South African government to as a matter of responsibility protect Nigerians residing there.
While commending the High Commissioner for the updates on the killings, Lawan said: “the update on the cause of the late Mrs. Chukwu’s death is heartwarming. It is a sign that something has been done in this regards.”
Earlier, Moroe, who expressed regret over the killings of Nigerians and extended his country’s condolences to the families of the victims, had said an inquest had been instituted to investigate all cases of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The inquest, he said, would reveal the causes of the menace and find solutions across board.
He reiterated the commitment of South Africa 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,” he added.