- The House of Reps has asked the federal government to evacuate Nigerians willing to return from China
- The demand was made following alleged maltreatment of some Nigerians in the Asian country
- China and the Chinese people have a long history of discrimination against black people
The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to urgently evacuate all Nigerians willing to return, who have tested negative to COVID-19 and are with valid passports and visas in China.
Spokesman of the green chambers, Honourable Benjamin Kalu and nine others moved the motion, at the resumed plenary of the lower house on Tuesday, April 28.
The resolution was said to be in line with the mandate of Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), to take actions to ensure the safety and welfare of Nigerians in China.
Photos and videos which emanated across various social media earlier this month in China, depicted the institutionalized racial discrimination, maltreatment, xenophobic assaults, embarrassments, illegal detention and forceful eviction of Nigerians and other Africans living in Guangzhou.
Kalu, while leading the debate on the motion, lamented that “under the pretext of curbing the spread of COVID-19, which ironically originated in Wuhan, China, several kinds of maltreatment of Nigerian citizens in Guangzhou have been perpetrated by Chinese people and authorities.”
“These include, wrongful confiscation of Nigerian international passports, prolonged and illegal detaining of Nigerians in the name of mandatory quarantining despite holding a certificate of clean health and no recent travel history.
“Outright refusal to test or release the test results, and the eviction of Nigerians from their homes, hotel accommodations, refusal of entry into shops, pharmacies, restaurants and hospitals, including the beating of Nigerians on the streets with no police intervention among others,” he added.
The lawmaker also recalled the case of Mr Felix Awah Elijah, a Nigerian citizen and legal resident in China who mysteriously disappeared after his abduction and prolonged illegal detention by Chinese police authorities sometime around February 2019.
He said all letters and appeals from his representative in the House, were ignored by Chinese authorities.
The spokesman contended that the actions of the Chinese authorities do not reciprocate the favourable treatment enjoyed by their nationals in Nigeria who thrive and operate businesses in the country.
He further accused Chinese authorities of putting a strain on the diplomatic and economic relations between Nigeria and China thereby endangering Nigerian businesses in China valued at billions of dollars.
It was, therefore, resolved that the ministry of foreign affairs and all relevant ministries, departments and agencies should, as a matter of urgency, ensure that all Nigerians who wish to return home, be evacuated from China and quarantined upon arrival.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the federal government has launched an investigation into the matter.
A source close to Nigeria's foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the head of the Nigeria Embassy in Beijing has been ordered to launch the immediate investigations into the allegations.
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