The House of Representative Committee on Diaspora has criticised the Federal Government for failing to stem the attacks on Nigerians living abroad.
The Chairperson of the Committee, Rita Orji, stated this on Monday while speaking to journalists at the National Assembly on the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
She said the failure of the Federal Government to address previous attacks of Nigerians in South Africa was responsible for the incessant killings of Nigerians abroad.
The lawmaker recounted some of the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, Libya and other countries, claiming that the committee had investigated some of the cases and sent a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with no visible action taken.
The group, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said that they had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.
Honourable Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an unnecessary setback and advised Nigerians to be extra cautious, saying it appears the South African Government seems to have no control over the attacks.
She also urged the African Union to intervene urgently in the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years and in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed.
“This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” the Presidential aide said.
Nigeria has called on the South African Government to take decisive and definitive measures to protect its citizens and other Africans within the country’s borders.
The call was made on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Honourable Dabiri-Erewa also urged the African Union to intervene urgently in the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In a statement issued in Abuja, she described the attacks as an unnecessary setback and advised Nigerians to be extra cautious, saying it appears the South African Government seems to have no control over the attacks.
The Presidential Aide asked Nigerians to refrain from staging reprisal attacks and warned that further attacks without any reprimand may have dire consequences.
“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years and in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed.
“This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” Dabiri-Erewa said.
According to the statement, the Nigerian community in South Africa, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.
Anyene said that the union had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.
“As we speak, five buildings with Nigerian businesses, including a church, have been looted and burned by South Africans,” he said.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri, has appealed to the South African government to stop the extra judicial killing of Nigerians in South Africa.
She made the appeal when she visited the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria in Abuja, Mr Lulu Louis.
According to her, over one hundred Nigerians have been executed by South African policemen in the last two years.
Mrs Dabiri further stated that majority of the executions were extrajudicial.
Meanwhile, Mr Louis has given an assurance of his government’s determination to ensure justice for the families of the victims.
A protest over increase in tuition fees in South Africa has gone awry, after the protesting students clashed with the Police.
The fees had been proposed to be hiked between 10 per cent and 12 per cent, and students rejected a government offer to cap tuition fees at six per cent.
So far, 10 South African institutions have been affected by the protests and have shut down academic activity in the meantime.
The students are also calling for free education for the poor, saying this was promised by the African National Congress Government when it took power in 1994.
Reports say that the last time students were on the streets of South Africa protesting, was back in the apartheid era, when they protested against being taught Afrikaans, one of the main languages spoken by the White minority.
South African Government has detained a teenager who was travelling to join the Islamic State (IS).
The country’s State Security ministry said it was the country’s first known arrest linked to the militant group.
The ministry noted that it was investigating whether Islamic State had a recruitment network in South Africa.
It said the 15-year-old girl was stopped at Cape Town airport on Sunday, after evidence was found in her bedroom indicating she had been in contact with Islamic State recruiters.
Minister of State Security, David Mahlobo, in The Star newspaper further confirmed that the teenager was trying to leave, with a plan to join the IS.
“We can confirm that she was planning to leave the country with the intention of joining IS, and had been actively engaged with social media networks.
“An investigation is under way as to how far this network goes, whether there is a cell in the country. We cannot allow South Africa to be used as recruitment space,” he said.
However, thousands of people from over 80 nations, including Britain, China, United States of America, and others have joined the ranks of Islamic State and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq over the past few months.
Islamic State seized large swathes of land in Iraq and Syria last June, including territory close to the Turkish border. A U.S.-led coalition has launched air strikes to try and push the Sunni militant group back.
One legacy that the late former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela is remembered of is the impact his message for forgiveness and reconciliation had on the economy of the nation, a South African government official has said.
South African Consul-General to Nigeria, Ambassador Mokgethi Monaisa told Channels Television that the before the country got its freedom in 1994, there had been infrastructures in place that would make the economy thrive.
Amb. Monaisa stated that South Africans were not ready to let the work of their fathers be in vain.
“When we got freedom in 1994, we already know that the economy infrastructure were already on ground.
“Nelson Mandela preached forgiveness and reconciliation and we saw that whatever is in the country belonged to us all.
“South Africa belongs to us all and we have to come together now to make the best of what we have and there was no revenge. If there was revenge we would have destroyed it,” he said
As much as many African leaders admire the late South African leader, they do not want to be like him.
Amb. Monaisa pointed out that no African leader would want to step down after a first term in office like Mandela, an act he said sent a message to all the leaders in Africa.
Ailing anti-apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela remained in hospital on Wednesday in a “critical but stable” condition.
Outside his home in the Houghton area of Johannesburg, well-wishers left messages of support and flowers.
Supporters also leave tributes to the former president outside the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria where he is being treated.
Local people said they don’t want to lose Mandela, but might have to accept that his life is coming to an end.
“Everybody don’t want to lose him because he is an icon. We still want him to live but then I think it’s about time now. Because – you all know nothing lasts forever. So we just have to appreciate it and let it go, let God deal with it,” said Mogau Mahltgi.
“I’m feeling very bad. I just wish him all the best so that he can recover soon. So all the best for him, may God bless him. We still need him, until,” said Emmanuel Muludzi.
Mandela has been at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital for more than three weeks.
The faltering health of the 94-year-old, a figure admired globally as a symbol of struggle against injustice and racism, has reinforced a realisation that the father of the post-apartheid South Africa will not be around for ever.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela has successfully undergone a procedure to have gallstones removed.
The South African government explained in a statement that the surgery on the 94-year-old Nobel peace laureate was successful and he is recovering.
Mr. Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, is respected worldwide as a symbol of resistance to racism and injustice everywhere, following his personal struggle against apartheid in his home country.
Mr. Mandela was admitted to a Pretoria hospital a week ago after being flown from his home village of Qunu in a remote, rural part of the Eastern Cape Province.
Tests revealed a recurrence of a lung infection and that he had developed gallstones.
Nigeria has accepted the apology tendered by the South African government over the deportation of 125 Nigerians over fake yellow fever vaccination card.
However, the country is seeking the outright waiver of the yellow fever card requested at South African airports as the country is free of the disease.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Olugbenga Ashiru told journalists in Abuja that moving forward, a bi-national meeting will be convened very soon and the meeting will be headed by the Vice-Presidents of both countries.
He also hinted that Nigeria may demand a waiver of the yellow fever vaccination card at the meeting.
Mr Ashiru in an exclusive interview with Channels Television stated that, “South Africa is the only country in the world that demands such certification before allowing Nigerians into their country.” The World Health Organization has certified Nigeria free of yellow fever, which was last recorded in 1995.
The statement from the South African government earlier on Thursday, called for the revival of the bi-national commission between the two nations and re-opening the vaccination clinic at the Oliver Tambo international airport, Johannesburg “so that passengers without the yellow fever card can be quickly vaccinated upon arrival at the airport rather than to be deported” the statement read.
It also seeks an exchange of vaccine batch numbers and details between the health authorities of the two nations.
The statement also advised that when it comes to mass deportations, “senior officials at the department of international relations and cooperation including protocol should be consulted by immigration and health officials at the airport before undertaking such action.”
Reacting to the apology Mr Ashiru, stated that Nigeria has accepted the apology and added that “we will move quickly to ensure that we put machinery in place so that it will be a lasting solution, because we don’t want this to happen again because of our bilateral relations.”
“We felt it was un-African to have deported well over 125 Nigerians in a space of two days,” he added.
The Minister also confirmed that since the diplomatic row commenced, Nigeria has deported a total 131 South Africans as a retaliation measure.
Questionable and incomplete documents
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Immigration Service has said the recent entry denial to some South Africans is unrelated to the on-going row between Nigeria and that country despite federal government’s displeasure at the treatment of Nigerians in South Africa.
The spokesperson for the service, Mr. Joachim Olumba said “over ten thousand foreigners have either been denied entry into or repatriated from Nigeria since January 2012, and this included South Africans.”
Mr. Olumba affirmed that “no South African has been deported from Nigeria since the row began and those denied entry were all on grounds of questionable and incomplete documents.”
According to Mr. Olumba, “the ongoing row between both counties is no big deal” but he noted that “the practice of international relations is always based on the principle of reciprocity,” adding that that the Nigerian government is yet to take official action.