By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—THE Senate, yesterday, cancelled its proposed trip to South Africa following the return of xenophobic attacks on Africans, including Nigerians, who suffered injuries and had their property destroyed.
The decision of the Senate to cancel the journey was sequel to a closed door meeting, yesterday, before plenary.
Briefing plenary after the meeting, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, said the cancellation became imperative to avoid multiple delegations to the Southern Africa nation.
He said: “On our trip to South Africa, we noted that the House of Representatives insists on going to South Africa independently.
‘’We thought we could lead a single and harmonized delegation of the National Assembly to avoid the embarrassment of multiple delegations. The Senate, therefore, decided to pull out to allow the House delegation to proceed.”
It would be recalled that the Senate had on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, resolved to dispatch a delegation of the upper chamber on a parliamentary diplomatic mission to the parliament of South Africa to register the nation’s displeasure over the resurgence of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in that country and to dialogue with their South African counterparts on how to end the perennial attacks.
The resolution was sequel to a motion by Senator Rose Oko (PDP, Cross River North), entitled: Resurgence of Xenophobic Attacks and Extra-judicial Killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, had announced his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as leader of the delegation.
Others named on the aborted delegation were Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan; the Chief Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye; Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Shehu Sani; Senator Stella Oduah; Senator Magnus Abe; and Senator Shaba Lafiaji.