Gbajabiamila expresses displeasure over maltreatment of Nigerians in China

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Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila

The leadership of the House of Representatives has expressed displeasure over the inhuman treatment meted out on some Nigerians by the Chinese authorities in Beijing.

The Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila expressed the displeasure at a meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian on Friday in Abuja.

Gbajabiamila said that the inhuman treatment on Nigerians in China must be addressed forthwith.

The speaker confronted the Ambassador with the protest video of the incidence where a Nigerian was seen challenging Chinese officials over the maltreatment.

He said that viral media reports and videos from Beijing showed Nigerians being forced out of their houses and hotels, rounded up and their passports seized by the Chinese police.

He said the videos also showed that some Nigerians were being forced into another 14-day quarantine after the initial 14 days they spent for same purpose over the Covid-19 pandemic in China.

The Speaker said there should be an official explanation for treating Nigerians in such a manner.

“If the diplomatic relationships between our two countries are for the mutual benefits of our citizens, then there must be respect for our citizens, and we should not compromise it.

“As a government, we will not allow Chinese or other nationals to be maltreated just as we will not allow Nigerians to be maltreated in other countries.

“The way you treat your citizens, we expect that’s how you’ll treat others; will not tolerate our citizens breaking your laws, but the crime of one citizen cannot be used to stigmatise the whole country.

“It appears that is  what happened in this case; you  cannot use one brush to smear the whole wall. Whatever the reason, it cannot be used and taken out on the entire community in China,” he said.

The Speaker said the House will expect a feedback from the Ambassador as soon as possible and before Tuesday next week.

According to him, it is  better we nip it in the bud so that it does not  escalate to another level.

The speaker also sought to understand the specific mandate of the Chinese medical team that arrived Nigeria on Wednesday and if they are on quarantine.

In his response, Ambassador Zhou said though he has not been officially informed about the details of the incidence but that he would take it up with the home government.

“We take our relationship with Nigeria very seriously, we receive a full report from back home, I cannot act, but I can assure you it is not a policy issue.

“We treat everyone equally, but during the implementation of the COVID-19 measures in China, it is possible for some incidents; all I do is to take it back home, today I will, ” he said.

The Ambassador said the Chinese medical personnel are in full quarantine and ready to observe all protocols as stipulated by Nigeria.

“They are on 100 per cent quarantine. The NCDC has been there twice; they have to follow the protocol.

“They are here to deliver medical supplies and on advisory role only, that is a prevention working group on Covid-19. They will do nothing like practicing as doctors,” he said.

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