Senator Ovie Omo-Agege

By Eseoghene Emuke

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Nigeria’s  Deputy Senate President, says the fresh attacks and killings of Nigerians by South African citizens would not be allowed to go the way of other attacks unpunished.

He said the Senate will wholeheartedly support every tough action taken by President Muhammadu Buhari to address the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, described the latest attacks on Nigerians by South Africans as callous, cowardly, inhumane and a dastard act that must be condemned.

Omo-Agege stressed that the Nigerian government would ensure that the perpetrators of the fresh attacks were arrested and prosecuted for the crime that had committed against their fellow Africans plying their trade in South Africa.

The Delta Central Senator at the National Assembly said he was greatly saddened specifically for the disturbing video clips of how the South African people unleashed terror on their Nigerian brothers and similarly destroyed their businesses.

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He, however, said he was pleased that the Federal Government is taking a tougher stance on what seems to have become a routine by some elements in South Africa who randomly inflict pain, anguish and death on foreigners, especially Nigerians.

The lawmaker said, “Senate is without question in support of necessary steps by President Muhammadu Buhari to save Nigerians in South Africa and resolve the totally unacceptable pattern of extrajudicial killings of our innocent citizens.

“I’m still shocked by the level of violence on display by a set of people presumed to be our brothers not just because we are from the same continent but also because we have a shared history.
“Nigeria, it must be said, played crucial role and made great sacrifice towards the emancipation of South Africa from the firm grip of apartheid. I wonder how things got this bad that law-abiding Nigerians living in that country have suddenly become prime targets for killings, arsons and destruction.

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“No doubt, Monday’s fresh attacks cannot be allowed to go the way of others since it appeared past efforts at interrogating the horrific visitation of violence on Nigerians yielded no positive result in curbing the mindless horror.”

While emphasizing that irrespective of simplistic official explanations now being advanced by South Africa, what happened on Monday was a clear case of demeaning xenophobia and a display of hatred for a particular set of people for no justifiable reason.

He added that the President Buhari’s administration holds the life of every Nigerian either in the country or abroad dearly, the federal government would probe and put to an end the killing and destruction of businesses owned by Nigerians in South Africa.

“The strong message that should be sent to the South African government and its people is that the life of every Nigerian matters and Nigeria would no longer tolerate the violence being visited on our people under whatever guise or excuse. Those behind the latest killings must be fetched out and punished while due compensation should be paid to the families of the victims. 

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“While I commiserate with all those who lost loved ones and valuable properties during the violence, I urge the Federal Government to seize this moment and stand up, as it has always done in the past, for its citizens’ rights regardless of wherever they may be in the world. This abuse must stop and it must stop now!” Senator Omo-Agege asserted.


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