Yesterday before the AFCON football encounter between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa, the Nigerian Senate has called on the South African government to tell its citizens to halt in the murder of Nigerians in their country. The Senate said the killings is becoming too rampant and Nigerians should be treated with due respect in South Africa.
President Buhari delay in releasing his ministerial list caused serious uproar during the Senate plenary session yesterday,as the Senate has sent a reminder to the President that they will commence with their annual recess with or without the ministerial list.
Major Nigerian Newspapers have more on these stories:
Punch Newspaper: Senate fumes as number of Nigerians murdered in South Africa rises to 127
The Senate on Wednesday warned the South African government to halt the frequent killings of Nigerians by its citizens to avoid grave consequences.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who stated this at plenary, warned that the South African government must extend due respect to Nigeria and should not take the good gesture towards it for granted.
The red chamber summoned the Nigerian ambassador to South Africa to explain the circumstances that led to the alleged murder of the Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Elizabeth Ndubusi-Chukwu, in the country recently. The killing of Ndubusi-Chukwu in June made the number of Nigerians murded in South Africa in three and half years to rise to 127.
Debating the death of the CIIN deputy director, the Senate asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue travel alerts to Nigerians going to South Africa. The red chamber also asked the ministry to carry out a comprehensive investigation into the death of the woman.
The Senate took the decision following a point of order raised by the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe. Abaribe drew the attention of his colleagues to the gruesome murder of Ndubusi-Chukwu. He said, “Elizabeth Ndubusi-Chukwu, a mother, and an indigene of Anambra State, was found dead in one of the rooms at the Emperors Palace Hotel and Convention Centre, on June 13, 2019, where she lodged. “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.”
He expressed concern that in curious twist, it was alleged that Emperor Palace Hotel and Convention Centre where she lodged, was reluctant to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to unravel the circumstances surrounding her suspicious death. Abaribe also noted that it was not the first time Nigerians have died in suspicious and curious circumstances in South Africa.
The President of the Senate said this at Wednesday plenary after the Senate rejected the call by Senator Francis Fadanhusi that Nigeria should severe diplomatic relationship with South Africa over the unwarranted and incessant killings of Nigeria citizens in that country. The President of the Senate said, “Nigeria as a country is tired of the killings and therefore, we believe that the relationship between South Africa and Nigeria must be better. There must be respect for each other.”
Lawan said he was aware that South Africans in Nigeria were treated well while their thriving businesses enjoy the protection of the Nigerian government and its people calling on the government and people of South Africa to be civil with Nigerians. He pointed out that because Nigerian government and people are responsible, the issue of retaliation would be unnecessary but same gesture must be extended to Nigerians in South Africa.
He said, “I agree completely with our colleagues who said that South African businesses in Nigeria flourish more than any other businesses in this country and South Africans are so very well protected in Nigeria. “There is no need for any South African to take the life of a Nigerian or indeed any other citizens. “Nigeria was a frontline country or considered to be one even though we are far away in the coast of Africa . “Therefore, we deserve that respect. the relationship between our two countries must be based on mutual respect and understanding.”
Guardian Newspaper: National Assembly leaders douse anger over ministerial list
The continued delay by President Muhammadu Buhari in sending the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate generated serious concerns on the floor of the chamber yesterday. It was the subject matter of a motion sponsored by Senator Bassey Albert Akpan (PDP, Akwa-Ibom). Citing Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rule, which deals with “personal explanation,” Akpan drew the attention of the lawmakers to what he called a disturbing issue arising from the delay.
He reminded them of the pending end of session recess, which would commence in the next two weeks, saying further delay could put more pressure on lawmakers. “We understand the passion of Mr. President to consolidate on the gains he has so far attained. If we are going on this long vacation in two weeks, and by now, we have not received the ministerial nominees, it means we will have to put ourselves under intense pressure, because it is our collective responsibility that we must support Mr. President to succeed. “I am just bringing to the attention of Mr. President of the Senate that there is the need for you to, please, urge Mr. President to send in the list of ministerial nominees so that the Senate can confirm them immediately,” said Akpan.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan waded in swiftly to douse the tension that had started building up as a result of the motion. “This is to inform this Senate that the executive arm of government is working very hard to get the list of ministerial nominees to the Senate,” he said. “And I can imagine that before this week runs out, we could get the list. But I want to assure you that once we get the list, every senator here has shown and expressed the desire to stay long enough to screen and confirm the nominees in the interest of this country, and for the country to be taken to the next level.”
Sun Newspaper: Ministerial list ready this week –Lawan
Barely 24 hours after Senate urged President Muhammadu Buhari to forward the ministerial list, its president, Ahmad Lawan, has confirmed that an action to that effect will be taken this week.
Lawan stated this in reaction to a motion by senator Albert Bassey Akpan. Akpan had anchored his motion on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules. He impressed on his colleagues the need to mount pressure on the president to submit the list before the National Assembly embarks on its summer recess.
He said: “Mr. president, in view of the yearly long recess the Senate and the House of Representatives will embark upon in two weeks time, there is need to urge president Muhammadu Buhari to forward the much expected ministerial list to the Senate; for screening and confirmation. “This is very important because if such a list is not made available for the required legislative attention, before we embark on the long recess, there will be no ministers and, by extension, a federal cabinet for the president to work with, till September. “Making the list more urgent now from the president before our long recess is the fact that if is not made available, concerted efforts being made by both arms of government to return the yearly budget cycle to January to December would be defeated. “On this note, I call on the president of the senate to inform president Muhammadu Buhari of the need for the list before we embark on recess.”
In his response, Lawan informed the chamber that the list could reach tme before the week runs out. Said Lawan: “Let me, on the strength of this motion, inform the senate that the Executive arm of government is working very hard on the ministerial list. “In fact, the list, based on information at my disposal, could be forwarded to us by the president before the end of this week. “May I, therefore, appeal to us all, to be ready to make the necessary sacrifice in terms of sufficient time, to be spent in carrying out thorough screening and confirmation of appointments of the expected ministerial nominees.”
On Tuesday, senate spokesman, Adedayo Adeyeye, told newsmen that the Red Chamber was handicapped in deciding when Buhari would forward his ministerial list to them. He had also revealed that they were also not constitutionally empowered to request for the list from the president. “That is the prerogative of the executive. We are not going to help them to do their job. Senate cannot generate the list of ministers on its own. “It is the prerogative of the president to send his ministerial nominee list to the Senate and when he does that we will consider it. “That is our constitutional mandate. It is not even within our powers to even advice. “We will wait until the matter is transmitted to us. “The executive are aware of the timetable of the Senate. “There is a particular time the Senate will go on recess. “That being in mind they should be mindful of when they will carry out this constitutional responsibility,” Adeyeye said then.
Meanwhile, the president, in a statement by a Deputy Director in the office of his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Charles Akpan, has submitted a request to appoint 15 special advisers. The president hinged his request on section 151 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.