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Murder: Senate asks FG to issue travel alert to Nigerians

N40bn abandoned Baro River Port project gets Senate’s investigation

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to issue travel alert to Nigerians travelling to South Africa over the killing of Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu, a Nigerian who was allegedly killed in a hotel in South Africa.

This comes as it charged the South African Government to unravel the circumstances leading to the death of the Nigerian citizen.

It also resolved to send a high powered delegation to the Parliament of South Africa to register its displeasure on the handling of the matter.

These resolutions were reached following a motion moved by the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe on Wednesday.

The upper legislative chamber, however, rejected an additional prayer calling on the Federal Government to cut diplomatic ties with South Africa on the matter.

Recall that last month, Ndubuisi-Chukwu, a Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria who was in South Africa to attend the conference of the African Insurance Organisation was found dead in her hotel room in Johannesburg.

Although initial report indicated that she died of cardiac arrest, autopsy by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Health revealed that she was strangled.

In his lead debate, Abaribe said: “This is not the first time Nigerians have died in suspicious and curious circumstances In South Africa”.

In their separate contributions, lawmakers called on the Nigerian government to redefine its foreign policy with the former apartheid country.

In his submission, Senate Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu tasked the Federal Government to take measures to stop what he described as the endless killing of Nigerians doing legitimate businesses in the country.

He said: “The Federal Government needs to do something. The person killed was a Federal Government delegate. The hotel in question must provide the footage for investigation. Everywhere in South Africa, they pursue Nigerians around like common criminals.

“We have businesses there the same way they have businesses here. Three former presidents of South Africa have lived in Lagos. If they have, they should treat us as friends.

“Let us invite their ambassador to Nigeria and our ambassador to South Africa. I don’t know when enough will be better. But enough is enough. This has to stop.”

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan who presided over the session, expressed disappointment over the killings, warning that this would no longer be tolerated.

“We believe that the relationship between South Africa and Nigeria must be better. There must be respect for each other. I agree completely with our colleagues who said South African businesses probably flourish more than any other business established in this country. And South Africans are safe, very well protected in Nigeria.

“There is no need for any South African to take the life of any Nigerian or indeed any other citizen. Nigeria was a frontline state or considered to be one even though we are far away in the west coast of Africa. And therefore, we deserve that respect. The relationship between the two countries must be based on mutual respect and understanding.

“We are a responsible country. That is why we don’t take the laws into our hands in the way of retaliation. But we shouldn’t be taken for granted. Nigeria tries to provide leadership for Africa but in this leadership position, we should also be to tell every African country the truth. We have taken this killing for too long. And the time has come for us as a Parliament to tell the South African Parliament that we have taken enough of this and we are not going to take it anymore,” he said.

 

OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja