Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Sunday criticised the deportation of 125 Nigerians by the South African government.
The action, she said, was not only illegal but was done in an inhuman manner. One hundred and twenty five Nigerians were deported from South Africa on Friday over their alleged non-possession of Yellow Card, a public health attestation that they have been vaccinated against yellow fever.
The 125 Nigerians, who arrived South Africa on Thursday, were deported the following day. The deportees included 75 passengers who travelled on board a South African Airways flight, while 50 were on board Arik Air flight.
In a statement issued in Abuja Sunday, Dabiri-Erewa condemned the act, describing it as part of the “continuous unwarranted hostilities against Nigerians by the government of South Africa.”
She described the attitude of the South African government as degrading and unacceptable to Nigerians. “It is pathetic that 125 Nigerians, the highest so far, which include women and children, were delayed for 24 hours without water and food in an inhuman condition before being bundled back to Nigeria.
“Does the Nigerian government ask South Africans to fill Yellow form when coming to Nigeria? Why do they keep treating Nigerians with scorn and indignation? This is really appalling. Is this the way to pay Nigeria back for their kind gesture? This is unfair and un-African,” she said.
The lawmaker recalled the various roles Nigerians, including women and children, played in dismantling apartheid in South Africa.
Dabiri-Erewa also recalled how South African businesses like MTN and Muti-Choice, owner of DSTV, among others, are thriving in Nigeria better than any part of Africa without any form of molestation from the Nigerian government and its people.
She called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to protect her citizens by applying the law of reciprocity to South Africans coming to Nigeria.
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