The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, to discuss issues of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
At the meeting held on Tuesday, the Minister told the Senate that recalling Nigeria’s envoy to South Africa was a wrong action to take, as they were needed in South Africa to look after Nigerian citizens in there.
Ambassador Wali, who was speaking at a meeting with the senate committee on foreign affairs, also said that contrary to reports, the Federal Government did not recall any of the country’s envoy to South Africa.
Channels Television’s correspondent, Linda Akhigbe, reports that the meeting was called by the Senate to find out from the Minister the true picture of the happenings in South Africa.
There have been different reports in the media that Nigerians and other African nationals were being harassed and killed by South Africans who are demanding that foreign nationals should leave their country.
In response to the attacks, the Senate at plenary last week asked the presidency to recall Nigeria’s High Commissioners to South Africa.
But at the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said recalling the envoys was not a right step.
He also said that contrary to media reports, the Federal Government had not recalled the High Commissioner to South Africa.
The Minister further gave the figure of Nigerians attacked in South Africa and how much was lost in the xenophobic attacks.
The Senate last week asked the Federal Government to initiate legal proceedings against the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, who had been blamed for sparking the attacks with comments about foreign workers.
However, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said the Zulu king had denied making any such inciting comments, saying his statement was taken out of context. He had called the attacks on foreigners ‘vile’
The delegation also met with the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.
They also briefed the representatives on the happenings in South Africa and the efforts of the Nigerian government.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs assured the Senate and House committees that the Foreign Affairs Ministry would ensure that Nigerians, who lost property in South Africa to the xenophobic attacks, would be well compensated.