Mistreatment of Nigerians due to COVID-19: FG takes stand

The federal government Thursday described as disappointing the mistreatment of Africans including Nigerians in Guangzhou, China.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said Nigeria would not accept racial discrimination against its citizens.
He said the Nigerian Consulate in Guangzhou has been directed to systematically detail every single case of discrimination, loss or damage suffered by any Nigerian.

He said any case of mistreatment of Nigerians that requires compensation and damages would be vigorously pursued.
“We have been engaging with Chinese government at various levels at the level of our Consulate in Guangzhou, which is where these cases of discrimination and racism have been taking place and also at the federal level Beijing with our ambassador and the embassy in Beijing. 
“So, we’ve made it clear to the Chinese government in no uncertain terms unequivocally that under no circumstances will we accept racial discrimination against Nigerians or indeed Africans or blacks in China, that that is a red line for us. 

“They have in turn told us that that there is no case of that ongoing but clearly, you know, we are seeing videos, I have received reports and we’ve told them it’s unacceptable and we’re also engaging with other African countries to decide and work together on definitive steps and measures that we will take because of this situation.
“In addition, I have directed the Consulate in Guangzhou to systematically detail every single case of discrimination and every single case of loss or damage suffered by any Nigerian and we will pursue each and every single one very robustly with the Chinese government. If it requires compensation and damages etc. 

“So for us as I said, it’s a red line and we’re going to fight it to the very end. We’re extremely disappointed because we have excellent relations with the government and people of China, that such a thing can happen at this stage,” he said.

Responding to a question on payments being made by some Nigerians to be evacuated from the United Kingdom, the minister said only a limited number can be evacuated for now.  

“When we made the announcement that we were trying to assess first of all how many Nigerians were in various countries and wanted to come home we pointed out that all communication should be with the High Commission and at no time did the High Commission or did any directives emanate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Nigerians should take Tests. 

“So, where did the 350 pounds for tests came from. I really don’t know but it certainly was not from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nor from our various embassies and high commissions. 
“Now, of course their various stages that one had to go through the first with to the process of collation of the numbers of people who wanted to come in the different countries because there are Nigerians all over the world,” he said.

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