The Lagos State Assembly on Thursday urged the federal government to take decisive action to secure lives and property of Nigerians in the diaspora and to compel the South African government to pay compensation to Nigerians who are victims of xenophobic attacks.
Mr Tunde Braimoh brought the matter forward under the matter of urgent public importance, citing the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa on African nationals.
Mr Braimoh representing Kosofe constituency Two raised the alarm on the unprecedented dimension the attacks assumed on Sunday.
We have been hearing sad tales of Nigerians being attacked in South Africa….. Last week the social media was awash with clips and videos of attacks unprecedented……We know what role the Nigerian government played in emancipating them from the grip of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
The act is barbaric and out of the model, the Federal Government must ensure that our nationals are adequately compensated, he said. Though Naledi Pandor, South African minister of foreign affairs, had said there was no provision for compensation saying her country’s laws do not have provision for such.
Chief Adebisi Yusuff representing Alimosho constituency One, in his contribution condemned the development, stressing that South African citizens needed to be well informed on the historical affinities shared by the two countries.
“If these violent youths in South Africa don’t know history let’s tell them, that their foremost freedom fighter and former President, Nelson Mandela once said Nigeria is Africa and if Africa must succeed then Nigeria must succeed. So they should thread with caution.
He advised against vandalizing South Africa investments, which he said would heighten challenges of job creation and unemployment.
Mr Rotimi Olowo representing Somolu Constituency Two said that the xenophobic attacks had assumed an alarming dimension: “We need to urge our citizens here not to embark on vandalism here….we need to spell out our relationship with them, to ensure whatever fund that accrues is no longer repatriated to South Africa. Our Police need to be careful not to use guns but tear gas to scare protesters.
Lackadaisical attitude of the South African government
This case is painful because Lagos State government was prompt in forestalling vandalization of their investments here, if the South African did half of what we did the attacks won’t have been much, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu representing Eti Osa Constituency Two said.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Alhaji Mudashiru Obasa who supported the stance of members, noted that the lackadaisical attitude of the South African government on the matter further emboldened their citizen to perpetuate the act.
“We condemn their actions and their government’s lackadaisical stance on the matter gave the basis of their youth to continue the dastard act.
“Our Federal Government should also consider the safety of our nationals in the diaspora. Same goes for the African Union and the United Nations. This act should not be allowed to fester unchecked.”
Police also need to be cautious with the use of guns. There are protest ongoing in Hong Kong and no reports of gunshot were heard, the Police should not be trigger happy, the South African government must compensate the victims family, he added