The minister of state for foreign affairs Khadijah Abba Ibrahim surprised lawmakers in the Senate on Tuesday, February 28 when she declared that no Nigerian has died in the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
The Nation reports that the minister told Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that she based her statement on the information from the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa which has declared no deaths in the fracas.
The minister also said nobody was convicted in the previous attacks and no compensation was paid by the South African government.
Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, chairman of the committee, told the minister that Nigerians were interested in what the government was doing to protect them in South Africa.
“We want to hear from the ministry that the Acting High Commissioner has actually invited Nigerians to talk to them to give them solace because tomorrow, nobody knows what is going to happen again.
“We are only telling them (Nigerians), to please hide to give a low profile. That means we have told them not to engage in their businesses again that they should be in hiding which is not good for Nigerians.
“To the committee we are not happy, we are highly disappointed and what we would expect is that your delegations, we have the mandate of the two Houses for us to go to South Africa. We will all go together see them and look at the memoranda of understanding or bilateral of what you are signing.
“It has to be give and take. If it is necessary Nigeria will not hesitate to put sanctions on South Africa.”
The Nigerian Senate had resolved during plenary on Tuesday, February 28 to summon the foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama to explain what the executive arm of government is doing over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The senate also resolved to send a high-powered delegation of Nigerian lawmakers to the South African parliament to find a way to stop the attacks on Nigerians.