Onyema, Dabiri-Erewa Summoned Over Killing Of Nigerians In South Africa

The House of Representatives on Wednesday summoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, over the renewed extrajudicial killings of Nigerians in South Africa.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, was also summoned to brief lawmakers on the actions the Federal Government had taken so far to halt the killings.

In a resolution the House passed following a motion moved by the Chairman, Committee on Aviation, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, it noted that in May alone, two Nigerians were killed in South Africa.

The House said while one of them, Francis Ochuba, was killed on May 5, the second victim, Chidi Ibebuike, was murdered on May 13.

It also recalled that in November 2017, another Nigerian was killed.

Members expressed concern that the Federal Government didn’t appear to have taken any strategic step to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians living in South Africa by engaging its South African counterpart elaborately on the matter.

The House motion reads in detail, “The House recalls the numerous incidents of the gruesome killings of Nigerians in the Republic of South Africa, most of which prompted reactions from the House, Nigerians, and the world at large at different times.

“Despite the reactions of the House to those previous killings, there has been no resolute move by the Federal Government to engage the Government of South Africa in a bid to stop the killings, which have continued with mindless impunity.

“The House is concerned that Nigerians remain endangered people in South Africa, with no succour in sight from either the Nigerian or South African Government.

“On May 5, 2018, one Mr. Francis Ochuba, who hailed from the Umunneochi Local Government Area, Abia State, was gunned down in central Johannesburg while visiting his tenant along with his female South African estate agent to demand rent.

“Also on May 13, 2018, Mr. Chidi Ibebuike, who hailed from Uturu, Isuikwuato, Abia State, was shot dead and his car snatched at Mpumalanga, South Africa.

“One Sunday Ezeji, popularly known as ‘Alhaji’, was also shot dead on November 17, 2017, in front of his shop at Pretoria, South Africa.

“The House is worried by the seeming unabated impunity with which Nigerians are attacked and killed, sometimes within the view of South African law enforcement agents.

“The House believes that a lot more needs to be done by the Federal Government through deliberations with the South African Government to ensure the protection of Nigerians in South Africa and also that justice is done over previous incidents of Nigerians who were killed without provocation.”

The session, which was presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, directed its Committees on Foreign Relations and the Diaspora to look into the fresh killings.

 

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