The National Assembly Tuesday berated the Federal Government for not seriously taking up the South African Government over the latest xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other foreigners by South Africans.
This was the fallout of the interactive session the Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs had with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadijah Abba Ibrahim.
At the interactive session with the committee, the Minister ran into trouble waters with the federal lawmakers for not being able to respond to questions fired at her on required follow up actions by the federal government against repeated xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other foreigners by South Africans even as she declared that no Nigerian was killed in the latest attacks.
According to her, “Based on official information from the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa, no Nigerian lost his or her life in the latest attack”.
But when asked on measures taken so far by the Ministry through the High Commission to cushion the effects of the attacks on the affected Nigerians especially that of 2015, she became evasive by just stating that Nigeria government will ensure that relationship between the two countries is well managed.
Irked by the Minister’s response, the Committee Chairman, Monsurat Sunmonu described that actions of the ministry so far on the attacks as highly disappointing.
She said: “We know the efforts of Nigerians in South Africa. We have been talking to you based on report of the Senate Committee with the foreign affairs ministry in April, 2015. Two years ago we have this booklet and we have gone through all the findings and all the recommendations but unfortunately you have not met even one single thing out of if. How would we now believe what you have come here to tell us when you have actually stated in 2015 in April that you will be having with the commission in May, 2015 where you wrote this cause the 84 million compensation and this is two years?
“So, does that mean that if we have not invited you this would have been another story. Have you been able to invite Nigerians that lost their properties in 2015 to tell them that we are negotiating something for you? No, you haven’t.
“To the committee we are not happy, we are highly disappointed and what we would do is that we have the mandate of the two Houses for us to go to South Africa. Delegations from both chambers will go together to see them and look at the Memoranda of Understanding or bilateral of what you are signing; it has to be give and take. If it is necessary Nigeria will not hesitate to put sanctions on South Africa in this country.
“By so doing, we would be able to enforce them to do the right thing with Nigerians outside otherwise we will have to retaliate against their actions in this country inform of tit-for-tat and we would not hesitate to put our feet down to be able to tell them and say enough is enough”.