House Committee Calls for Global Condemnation of Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa

A cross section of members during plenary

Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has called for further synergy and global condemnation of attacks on Nigerians resident in South Africa in a renewed xenophobic attack.

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub, representing Gombi/Hong Federal Constituency in Adamawa State, who made the call in a statement yesterday, said the killing of Nigerians in South Africa is unacceptable and that efforts are on to address the situation.

Arguing that there is no form of jungle justice for any crime or perceived wrong acceptable anywhere in the world, Yakub said: “We are closely monitoring the situation in the Republic of South Africa and are reaching out to the Nigerian authorities at home and in the Republic of South Africa.”

According to him, “We are happy to announce that our dear President has also risen to the demand of duty by dispatching an envoy that is expected to arrive in South Africa by today (Thursday). The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs has also, following the directive of Mr. President, summoned the South African Ambassador to Nigeria.

“As a committee, we are also in close contact with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who is expected to brief us within the next few hours. You must have also heard that President Ramaphosa has strongly condemned the ongoing attacks and has made a number of commitments to achieving peace. We, however, call on him to go beyond that to demonstrate stronger leadership and bring all the perpetrators of the orgies of violence to book.”

Reacting to calls for the intervention of the parliament to hold emergency sessions on the debacle in South Africa, he said while such calls are understandable, he assured that his committee is work with the leadership of the National Assembly on the matter.

“While not seeking to hold forte for the House and, indeed, the entire National Assembly itself, we wish to inform our dear country men and women that, as a Committee of the House, whatever we have done or are doing with regards to this matter is with the total knowledge and express support of the leadership of the House led by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila. To say, therefore, that we are in constant contacts with the House leadership is stating the obvious.

“After a rigorous election and the campaigns that had followed the election of the presiding officers of the National Assembly, the Parliament has been on recess for a few weeks now and is expected to resume plenary in less than a fortnight. Already, there is a handful of reactions and actions from senators and members which have emanated from the ongoing problems in South Africa.

“As touchy as this case is, we are imploring Nigerians to have confidence in what the executive arm is doing at the moment until Parliament resumes on September 17. In any case, let me hastily add that the executive, nonetheless, is not working alone on this matter,” he said.