Xenophobic attacks: Why Nigeria will not retaliate now – Gbajabiamila

Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that retaliation would be the last resort in the efforts being made by the Federal Government to resolve the continued xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

Gbajabiamila, who is leading the House six-man delegation to South Africa, next Monday, explained that the retaliation would be detrimental to both countries. Addressing House correspondents yesterday on why the House leadership decided to send a delegation to South Africa, the majority leader said during the 5-day trip, the lawmakers would interface with the South African Parliament and discuss the possibility of both countries enacting hate crime laws, adding that it would cover crimes committed based on nationality.

He said that the delegation intended to engage the South African Parliament and other authorities on areas of mutual benefit and how much both countries could lose from Xenophobia and possible retaliatory actions or severing of diplomatic ties.

He stated further that they would also 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. Also speaking on whether Nigeria was afraid to take strict action against South Africa, Gbajabiamila said that retaliation was not the first step to diplomacy, adding that cutting of ties and retaliation are always the last resort.


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