The House of Representatives has described the Senate’s planned visit to South Africa over Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians as needless.
The House said since it had earlier announced plans to visit South Africa over the same issue, the Senate coming up with the same plan only amounts to a duplication of efforts.
The House Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, who is the leader of the delegation to South Africa stated this when he addressed journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said, “This is bicameral legislature, both houses are independent but for the ease of governance and diplomacy, it would have been proper or better to have one house and not two houses. This duplication of labour is absolutely unnecessary for both houses to travel.
“I believe it was an oversight on the part of the Senate. If you know our history, normally when the Senate has done something, most times even if it comes up on the floor of the House, if you follow our debate, we will say this matter has already been decided by the Senate.
“I believe in this particular case, the Senate was not aware the House has taken a resolution on this matter.”
Gbajabiamila, who cautioned the South African government to ensure that the recent attacks must be the last, added that Nigeria has all it takes to retaliate any form of ill-treatment meted out on its citizens.
He said it was not true that the visit amounts to mere jamboree and waste of the nation’s resources as some people are insinuating.
“We are hopeful that our engagement with the South African Parliament and authorities will provide lasting solutions. We will attempt to meet with the South African Parliament to discuss the possibility of both countries enacting hate crime laws. This would cover crimes committed based on nationality.
“We intend to engage the South African Parliament and other authorities in areas of mutual benefit and how much both countries could lose from xenophobia and possible retaliatory actions or severing of diplomatic ties.
“This delegation will seek to strengthen the Nigerian/South African Bilateral Commission which only exists on paper for now. We hope to meet with Nigerians who reside in South Africa and assure them of government’s intervention.
“We will advance and hopefully get a commitment on the need for payment of compensation for the victims of this last attack,” he said justifying the reason for the visit.
Commenting on the allegation that the House was unable to do anything over the killings of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) who were killed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during the inauguration of President Donald Trump of United States of America and the Southern Kaduna killings of innocent Christians by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen, the House Majority Leader said the House had always stood for the masses.
“On the issue of IPOB, and issue of southern Kaduna, charity begins at home. Keen observers of what happens in the National Assembly will noticed that the House has not sat down idly without doing anything about these killings that happen here in Nigeria,” he said.
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