from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA – THE occasionally sour relations between Nigeria and South Africa are tense again after the Nigerian Senate president warned his country would not tolerate further killings of its nationals in alleged xenophobic attacks.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, alleged 118 Nigerians had lost their lives in such attacks over the years, out of which 13 were reportedly committed by South African police.
He said this might spark violence that could go beyond the control of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
The recent alleged murder of Elizabeth Chukwu, Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, in Johannesburg has sparked diplomatic tensions.
She was found dead in her hotel room.
Lawan condemned the incident and other violent episodes as he hosted the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Bobby Moroe.
“I believe we have faced enough, we will no longer take it anymore,” Lawan told the envoy.
He said they would be compiling the names of Nigerians killed in South Africa.
“The South African parliament must act fast to put a stop to this menace,” the Senate leader said.
“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 the Nigerian government remains committed to the safety of South Africans residing here and their investments.”
Moroe said an inquest had been instituted to investigate all cases of xenophobic attacks in the country (South Africa) and perpetrators would be sanctioned.
“Our government will continue to be committed to the good relationship with Nigeria,” he assured.
Nigeria and South Africa are fierce economic and political rivals.
– CAJ News