The South African government has said Nigeria’s request for compensation for its citizens who incurred losses in xenophobic attacks has been ruled down.
Recalled that Nigeria is pressing for victims of the wanton attacks and killings to be fully compensated, but S/Africa says payment of compensation is not in its laws.
Foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama has said Nigeria will take necessary measures and do whatever needs to be done to ensure that victims are compensated.
The minister insisted that the federal government will hold the government of South Africa to account.
The South African foreign affairs minister, Naledi Pandor, stated on Thursday, September 5, that payment of compensation was not in the country’s law.
The federal government has already dispatched an envoy to Pretoria, as it seeks diplomatic means to solve the matter.
The president of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Adeola Olubajo, disclosed that about 200 Nigerians have been killed in persistent attacks over the years, and many more have lost goods and properties worth millions of dollars.
The need for compensation for victims was reiterated by Nigeria’s minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in a chat with newsmen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
He said: “Our citizens there have suffered a lot. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that they are compensated and we will take measures necessary and do whatever we have to do to ensure that they are compensated.”
Before that, Onyeama had stated on Tuesday, September 3: “Full compensation has to be paid because as we have discovered from previous experience, a lot of these Nigerians lost their property and it is a long drawn out process and very often are not compensated for it.
“But on this occasion, the Nigerian government is going to fight for full compensation and hold the government of South Africa to account.”
Recall that human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, called on the federal government to sue the South African government over the killing of Nigerians.
The legal luminary advised the federal government to also demand for compensation from the South African government.
Falana said: “The Nigerian High Commission in Pretoria should be directed to coordinate the legal defence.
“In view of the regular harrassment of Nigerians in South Africa and a few other African countries, the federal government should make the declaration to enable individual victims of human rights abuse to access the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights sitting in Arusha, Tanzania.”