Xenophobic attack: Nigerians blast lawmakers over trip to South Africa

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By Ishola Balogun

The National Assembly delegation to South Africa over the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians living in South Africa has continued to raise dust as many have queried the rationale behind such move when the executive arm of the government was in a better position to handle such diplomatic conflicts.

Would our lawmakers compel South Africans to make new laws on violence, looting or assault which are all the hallmarks of the Xenophobic attack which the South African laws have already covered as criminal offences? Couldn’t our lawmakers have compelled the Nigerian government to take strong action against their South African counterparts than rushing to South Africa to possibly look beggarly?

Haven’t they portrayed Nigeria as a weak state?

The Senate and House of Representatives sent their members to interface with their South African counterparts on the ceaseless attacks on Nigerians. The deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, led the delegation of both Chambers. No Nigerian was killed in the latest attack that occurred last week. Public Affairs analysts, commentators and Nigerians have bared their minds on the issue with many berating the lawmakers for wasting tax payers money on the needless trips to South Africa, saying that the issue would have been better handled by the Ministry of Foreign affairs.

One of such analysts is Jimi Disu who reacted to the development on Classic FM (Thursday) and Lagos Talks with several other Nigerians barring their minds on the issue.

According Jimi Disu, “Senator Ike Ekweremadu, leading a delegation of lawmakers to South Africa is completely unnecessary. I learnt the House of Representatives delegation left a day before. This is a job for the executives and not the lawmakers.

Our Foreign Minister should go there and resolve this issue. Even if the lawmaker had to go, couldn’t the Senate President and the Speaker have met and sent may be two or three lawmakers. That is one of the reasons we are not respected because we don’t do things in a tidy manner. Our reaction to issues, apart from being slow is completely disorganised.

“It is also ironical to have Nigerian lawmakers fly to South Africa while we attack and kill ourselves at home. We pretend as if everything is going on well here. Have they gone to Southern Kaduna to see what is going on there? About seven people in all expenses paid trip to South Africa with tax payers money to resolve xenophobic attack while hundreds are being killed in their own country is ridiculous.

“Whilst we can make noise about South Africans attacking our people, which in itself is bad, but there is apartheid in our own country. Tell me, how many murder cases have been resolved? An Attorney General was killed and a host of others, how many of them have been investigated, unearthed and solved? People are killed daily like chickens in Nigeria here.

Sometimes, it is the way you present your self that others take you. What is the value of a Nigerian’s life? It is known all over the world that you don’t toy with an American’s life. Have we placed value on our own lives? But there is a general African problem, across board, you go to Uganda, Gambia, and others, our leaders have almost turned us into animals. Look at how people rationalise crime, corruption, the kind of explanation they will make when a man is caught with 57 vehicles. We need to do a lot of self examination in Africa, Disu stated.

Another commentator said: “They are doing what the leadership in South Africa is doing. They try to divert people’s mind from the real issue. Now they have gone to South Africa as if they have a lot of concern for Nigerians. But the problems they have created for Nigerians themselves have not been solved. They are not addressing those issues.

Nigerians react

Dan Baba:  “Nigeria operates a bi-camera legislature, the National Assembly as an entity, sent the two chambers. what does this portend for the image of Nigeria to South Africa? What does it also portend on our finances and how we waste public funds, especially during this harsh economic period? How do you convince people that there is unity in the National Assembly when you send members from the two chambers separately? Does the development not portend power tussle in the National Assembly? Or is it that the lower house does not recognise the supremacy of the upper chambers in dealing with national matters?

Adeola: “It is a sheer waste of money. They are just wasting tax payers money. It is unfortunate that the masses don’t have the mind of their own, or else, we should have risen against this sheer waste of resources. That is why they just do what they like at all times.

Olaolu: “What are they going to south Africa to do? Many of our youths are involved in crime, over there. Even here, with the aid of police and other law enforcement agents, they perpetuate all kinds of crime, money laundering, 419, fraudulent activities.

When the youths travel out of the country, they carry out all these crimes and you expect South Africans to sit back and watch? I was just discharged from hospital, and the first drug I bought outside was fake, produced by Nigerians. What are we turning this country to? Our leaders should lay good examples to follow. Let us all change our mindset and go the normal way to make money.

Anthony: “I know some Nigerians are bad, you cannot go to somebody’s house and act foolishly and expect him not to react.

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