Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora has called for an urgent review of the Early Warning Signal (EWS) put in place by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria and South Africa early last year.
Up to 800,000 Nigerians, mostly young people, reside in South Africa, according to unofficial estimates.
Dabiri-Erewa also stressed the need for Nigeria to expedite the process of finalising the EWS implementation by South Africa.
Apparently disturbed by the latest killings of two young Nigerians in South Africa, the Presidential aide said the review and urgent implementation became imperative as the attacks in South Africa are not reducing but instead increasing at an alarming rate.
In a statement issued by her Media Aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, she said the efforts that led to the establishment of the EWS by both countries are not working, “as the present mechanisms seem to do little or nothing to prevent the occurrences of these killings.”
Dabiri-Erewa further appealed to Nigerians living in South Africa to remain calm and shelve their proposed mass protest and await immediate intervention from both countries to stop the killings and bring the culprits to justice.
She noted that while four South African policemen are already on trial for allegedly killing Nigerians in South Africa, it is imperative that anyone found culpable must be punished.
It would be recalled that the Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Union in South Africa, Habib Miller, told newsmen that two additional Nigerians were killed in South Africa in the past eight days.
Miller identified the latest victims as Francis Ochuba, a native of Ngodo community in the Umnneochi Local Government Area of Abia and Chidi Ibebuike, a native of Uturu in the Isikwuato Local Government Area also in Abia.
“Ochuba, a property owner, was shot dead alongside his estate agent, a female South African on May 5. They were shot dead as they visited the tenant occupying Ochuba’s house to collect rent.
“The incident occurred in Central Johannesburg, while Ibebuike was shot dead at the entrance to his house at Hazyview in Mpumalanga on May 13.
“Ibebuike’s car was subsequently, snatched by yet to be identified gunmen.
“The chairman of the Nigeria Union in Mpumalanga Province, Mr Amadi in company of other compatriots, has reported the incident to the South African police authorities and investigation is underway.”
KEHINDE AKINTOLA, Abuja