By Isaac Aregbesola
Troubled by frequent killings of Nigerians, the Nigerian Union in South Africa has called for the arrests and prosecution of killers.
The President of the Union, Mr Adetola Olubajo, blamed the incessant killings of Nigerians in South Africa on lack of prosecution of offenders by the authorities.
Olubajo said that the inability of the South African government to bring to book those perpetrating the heinous crimes against Nigerians has given the criminals free hands.
“Lack of prosecution of these criminal activities has actually embolden a lot of people to feel that they can kill Nigerians without any consequence,” he said.
He expressed concern that government’s apathy to arrest and prosecute the killers has made the situation more complex.
“People are emboldened to perpetrate the crime with impunity and without consequences, because of lack of prosecution.
“When there are no arrests, no prosecutions, criminals will have effrontery to go into crime without fear of retribution.
“What we are demanding is that whosoever commits any crime should be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.
Olubajo also urged both Nigerian and South African authorities to work together to address the situation and reduce criminal activities against Nigerians in South Africa.
He, however, called Nigerians in South Africa to be law abiding and shun criminal activity
The killing of Nigerians in South Africa had been on the increase in recent times.
The latest was the assassination of Mr Martin Ebuzoeme by unknown assailant in Yeoville, Johannesburg on July 12 .
The killing came barely 24 hours after the visit of South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa to Nigeria.
Ramaphosa had, during his visit on July 11, said that the killing of Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country was an act of criminality, but not specifically targeted at Nigerians.
Before then, was also the killing of Mr Ozumba Tochukwu-Lawrence, by an unknown gunman at 10 Koppe, Middleburg, Mpumalanga on July 6.
Another Nigerian, Thankgod Okoro, was also reportedly shot dead in Hamburg, Florida West Rand, Johannesburg, on April 9 by the South African Police Flying Squad.
There was also the killing of Mr Clement Nwaogu a father of two, who was burnt to death by his assailants in April.
The wanton killings of Nigerians in South Africa had sparked a number of protests there.
At least 14 of the protesters were taken into custody and allegedly branded drug peddlers.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had expressed worry over the killings of Nigerians in South Africa.
Dabiri-Erewa stated that no fewer than 117 Nigerians were extra-judicially killed in South Africa between 2013 and 2018 for one flimsy reason or the other.