Senators on Wednesday expressed anger over the alleged murder of a Nigerian Mrs. Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu in South Africa.
Mrs. Chukwu, Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, CIIN was in South Africa to attend the conference of the African Insurance Organisation, AIO, but was found dead in her hotel room in Johannesburg on June 13.
But Senate President, Ahmad Lawan warned South Africa not to take Nigeria for granted.
The Senate subsequently asked the South African Government to take steps to stop the killing of Nigerians resident in the country.
The lawmakers noted that the increasing killing of Nigerians carrying out legitimate businesses in South Africans implied that the role Nigerian played in the liberation of the country during apartheid is unappreciated by the people of the country.
Following the outrage in the Red chamber over the death of Mrs. Chukwu, the Senate resolved to issue a travel alert to Nigerians traveling to South Africa to be security conscious.
Nigerians going to South Africa were also advised to ensure that their safety is not under threat.
The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the “Death of Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu in South Africa,” sponsored by the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia).
Abaribe in his lead debate noted that late Ndubuisi-Chukwu was in South Africa as a delegate of the Federal Government to attend a programme.
He said that Ndubuisi-Chukwu was allegedly killed by yet-to-be-identified suspects in her hotel room.
Abaribe said: “She went to South Africa to attend the conference of the African Insurance Organisation (A10) and initially was suspected to have died of cardiac arrest.
“The insinuation was proved wrong, following autopsy report released on June 20, 2019, by South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs, which indicated in a Death Certificate that the death was unnatural and suspected to be murder due to strangulation.
“The suspicion that she could have been murdered was further confirmed in a separate document issued by South Africa’s Department of Health on June 27, 2019, where it corroborated the autopsy report and revealed that she was strangled.
“This is not the first time Nigerians have died in suspicious and curious circumstances In South Africa,” he added.
Senate Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, in his contribution gave further insights into how Nigerians are sometimes trailed to their hotels and either killed or robbed in South Africa.
Kalu insisted that the Federal Government should take measures to stop what he described as the endless killing of Nigerians doing legitimate businesses in the former apartheid country.
He said: “I was in the country and I visited the embassy. I interacted with three former presidents. When they think you have some money, they track you from the airport to the hotel and sometimes kill you.
“The Federal Government needs to do something. The person killed was a Federal Government delegate. The hotel in question must provide the footage for investigation. Everywhere in South Africa, they pursue Nigerians around like common criminals.
“We have businesses there the same way they have businesses here. Three former presidents of South Africa have lived in Lagos. If they have, they should treat us as friends.
“Let us invite their ambassador to Nigeria and our ambassador to South Africa. I don’t know when enough will be better. But enough is enough. This has to stop.”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, also agreed, saying “enough is enough.”
Lawan said that the Eight Senate discussed the same issue extensively following the killing of a Nigerian in the country.
He noted that as a responsible country, Nigeria cannot fold its hands and watch its citizens killed in other nations of the world.
For Lawan, the trend must stop.
He said: “This issue was discussed in the Eighth Senate. We sent a delegation to the South African Parliament then. South African businesses flourish more here.
“South African people are safe here. There is no need to take the lives of Nigerians. We deserve some respect. Our relationship must be respected. We are a responsible country.
“We should not be taken for granted. We have provided leadership in Africa. We can’t take these killings anymore. We need to support the Executive to stop these killings.”
The Senate resolved to urge the Federal Government not to relent in its efforts to unravel the circumstances of Mrs. Ndubuisi-Chukwu unfortunate demise.
It urged the South African Government to carry out an investigation into the death of Ndubuisi-Chukwu and other Nigerian citizens in such suspicious circumstances in South Africa.
It commended the Federal Government of Nigeria for its prompt action in seeking the South African authority’s explanation of the death of Ndubuisi-Chukwu.