On Monday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, revealed that about four policemen from South Africa are currently facing trial for the alleged killing and maltreating of Nigerians resident in their country.
Dabiri-Erewa made this known in a message she posted on her verified Twitter handle, @abikedabiri. This was while she was responding to twitter users who raised concerns over continued violence targeted at Nigerians in South Africa.
A user had demanded to know what happened to Nigeria’s citizenship diplomacy principle in the face of continued attacks on Nigerians, asking if it was not time for reciprocity against South Africa.
In response, Dabiri-Erewa said that it was a decision for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make.
However, she said that Nigeria’s mission in South Africa was making progress in discussions and engagements. Here’s what she wrote:
“That really is a decision for the MFA. But our mission in SA has made progress in discussions and engagements.
About four SA policemen currently on trial for killings and maltreatment of Nigerians. Never happened before.”
The presidential aide stated further that the Nigerian mission was already on the matter of a Nigerian burnt to death in Rustenburg, South Africa, after his vehicle was set ablaze by yet-to-be identified people.
She described Rustenburg as a particularly volatile area, saying 14 Nigerians are currently in court on allegations of public violence and drugs.
The mission is already on this matter. Rustenburg is a particularly volatile area where 14 Nigerians are currently in court for allegations of public violence/drugs. She said,
“However, no justification for doing this to anyone. The mission right now is meeting with SA authorities.”
Reports have it that no fewer than 117 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa since February 2016.
Unofficial estimates put the number of Nigerians residing in South Africa at about 800,000, majority of whom are young people.