By Gabriel Okoro, Abuja
The Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila says the House is ready to authorise legal funding for Nigerians in South Africa who wish to take legal action against identified perpetrators of the violence as well as those who sponsored them or permitted their actions to occur and to continue in the ongoing xenophobic attack.
The Speaker made the disclosure in Abuja on Friday while addressing a world press conference regarding the xenophobic attack in South Africa where Nigerians are particularly affected.
Gbajabiamila further assured that the House of Representatives will work with stakeholders within and outside government to evolve and implement a plan to evacuate our people from these places and as much as possible keep them out of harm’s way.
According to him, we must accept that there are at this moment in time several forces converging in different parts of the world, creating seismic events over which we have limited control yet may not entirely escape the worst consequences of. We ought no longer to wait until our people are caught in the foulest manifestations of these events before we take necessary action to protect them.
“There have been reports that state actors may have participated in the worst acts of violence; sometimes actively, at other times by standing and doing nothing whilst murder and mayhem was unleashed. We expect that the Government of the Republic of South Africa will conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations and make public their findings whatever they may be. Where any of these claims are determined to be true, we expect also that the individuals responsible will be held accountable to the highest degree allowed by law”, he said.
While commending the executive arms of their steps taken so far on the attack on Nigerians in South Africa, the Speaker said the leadership of the House of Representatives will also shortly invite the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, the Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission and other stakeholders to jointly consider the causes of these latest incidents of organised mass violence and murder of Nigerians in South Africa.
He said this will allow the government to more accurately demand reparations to compensate Nigerians who suffered in this recent orgy of violence.