…It condemns release of 123 Northerners with motorcycles by Police, seeks state police
The Lagos State House of Assembly yesterday raised concern about safety of Nigerians in the Diaspora and called on the Federal Government to take decisive actions on ensuring Nigerian Nationals in Diaspora are secured wherever they are and also see to it that the South African government pay compensation to families of Nigerians who were killed and or whose properties were destroyed in the scourge of xenophobic attacks.
Hon Tunde Braimoh who brought the matter forward under matter of urgent public importance, cited the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa on other African Nationals.
This is even as the Assembly condemned the release of 123 northerners with their motorcycle who were arrested by security agents on entry the State.
Speaking o the xenophobic attack, Braimoh representing Kosofe constituency II raised the alarm on the unprecedented dimension the attacks assumed on Sunday, as Nigerians in South Africa suffered varied degrees of harm.
“Four, five years ago we have been hearing sad tales from Nigerian nationals being attacked in South Africa, Zimbabwe nationals, Zambians and others also suffered same fate.
“Last week the social media was awash with clips and videos of attacks unprecedented, it is unheard of, we know what role the Nigeria government played in emancipating them from the grip of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.
“The act is barbaric and out of model, the Federal Government must ensure this our Nationals in South Africa does not suffer for fun, their list should be compiled and their families adequately compensated.”
Hon Adebisi Yusuff, Alimosho constituency I, in his contribution condemned the development, stressing that the South Africa citizens need be well informed on the historical affinities shared between the two countries.
“If this violent youths in South Africa don’t know history let’s tell them, that their foremost freedom fighter and former President, Nelson Mandela once said Nigeria is Africa and if Africa must succeed then Nigeria must succeed.
“So they should thread with caution, here in Nigeria also we should not continue to vandalise South Africa investment as this will heighten challenge on our drive to create jobs for our people and stem unemployment.”
Hon. Rotimi Olowo representing Somolu Constituency II in his own submission said that the xenophobic attacks should be stemmed because it has assumed an alarming dimension.
He said: “We need urge our citizens here not to embark on vandalisation of South African investment here as this will affect our employment drive.
“We need to spell out our relationship with them, to ensure whatever fund that accrues is no longer repatriated to South Africa.
“Our Police need be careful not to use guns but tear gas to scare protesters.”
In his own contributions, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu representing Eti Osa Constituency II urged the Federal Government to take decisive actions in addressing the issue.
“This case is painful, because Lagos State government was prompt in forestalling vandalisation of their investments here, if the South African did half of what we did the attacks won’t have been much.
“I have friends in professional engagements in South Africa who also suffered attacks, so the claim of drug peddling and criminal tendencies leveled against Nigerian nationals is neither here nor there.
“I saw a video where Nigerians were attacked, maimed and their vehicles destroyed to signal that they are unwanted migrants there.
“Aside sending envoy to South Africa, just like US did when we increase visa charges here, they responded immediately, so the Nigerian government must take decisive step on the xenophobic attacks on our nationals.”
The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa who supported the stance of members, noted that the lackadaisical mien of the South African government on the matter further emboldened their citizens to perpetuate the act.
“We condemn their act and their government’s laikadaisic stance on the matter gave their youths basis to continue the dastard act.
“Our Federal Government should also consider the safety of our nationals in the Diaspora.
“Recently Sweden arrested a US artiste who had issues with their nationals and was harassed, America stood up in his defence, our government should also do the needful to protect our nationals in the Diaspora.
“Same goes for the African Union and the United Nations, this act should not be allowed to fester unchecked.
“Our citizens were however wrong to have maimed our people on account of a backlash of South Africa xenophobic attacks, our Police also need to be cautious with the use of guns.
“There are protests ongoing in Hong Kong and no reports of gunshot were heard, the Police should not be trigger happy, the South African government must compensate the victims family.
Obasa ask the Clerk, Mr Azeez Sanni to put up letters to appropriate quarters as cited in the debates of the House.
Also yesterday, the House reacted to the arrest and release of 123 Northerners who were stopped by the security agents from entry the state.
Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade representing Ikorodu I raised this under matter of urgent public importance.
In his submission, Sanai said nobody knows the intention of those who came in with motorcycles from their town, saying it is a threat to the security of the state.
According to him, the number of vehicles on our roads keeps on increasing on a daily basis including the number of children in schools. We need to take a look at the Northerners who sneak in at night.
The lawmaker who lamented the influx of Hausa boys with motorcycles into the state with cow trucks called on the Commissioner of Police to ensure adequate security of lives and properties.
The House also called on the National Assembly to review the constitution in order to accommodate State Police and also reiterates the need for special status for the state.
In his contribution, Tunde Braimoh representing Kosofe II said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should enhance traffic law to caution the people who might want to act contrary to the law of the state.
Hon. Macaulay Mojisola representing Amuwo Constituency I suggested the need for Governor Sanwo-Olu to raise the issue among other governors to caution their people on the need to adhere to laws of Lagos State.
In his view, Fatai Mojeed representing Ibeju Lekki I said there is need to involve Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) to commence the inspection of motorcycles that are not registered.
Hon. Abiodun Tobun opined that the 123 Northerners arrested and released should have been sent back with their motorcycles, saying their release was not good enough.
“They are here to constitute nuisance because they have no value to add to the development of the State,” he said.
The Speaker Obasa who supported his colleagues opinions, added that the budget of the state is no longer enough to cater for the people.
“The law that permits movement of people also gives power to the state to direct its affairs. Those who come in must abide with the rules and regulations. The Commissioner of Police should have handled over the 123 people to immigration for proper identification before their release.
“This is more reason why Lagos needs special status with state police to secure lives of the people,” he said.
The House said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should empower the Neighborhood Safety Corps to ensure security in the state.