Posted by News Express | 27 April 2020 | 1,210 times
The Nigerian Government has launched an investigation into the alleged abuse and maltreatment of Nigerians in China since the outbreak of the dreaded Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
There has been a wave of outcry over the alleged attacks and abuse of Nigerians in the Chinese region of Guangdong over the handling, test and treatment of Covid-19 patients, an allegation the Chinese government denied.
Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed the ongoing investigation on Saturday, saying that the exercise has commenced.
“Our Consulate in Guangzhou has started,” he confirmed to inquiries on the investigation by the Nigerian government.
A top diplomat close to Onyeama disclosed that the head of the Nigeria Embassy in Beijing has been directed to commence the immediate investigations into the allegations to enable the Federal Government know the next line of action.
“I can authoritative tell you that the Nigerian government is investigating the alleged attacks on Nigerians by Chinese in Guangzhou,” the diplomatic source said.
The diplomat added that “the government really wants to get the actual position from the Chinese and Nigerian Embassy in China. If it is true that Nigerians were really attacked and discriminated against in China because of Covid-19, the government would like to know and then decide on the next line of action. As a government, we do not want to act on hearsay but fact”.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has rejected the claims of maltreatment of Nigerians resident in China by its authorities saying that the country has zero tolerance to discrimination.
The Embassy in a statement said: “We treat all foreign nationals equally in China. We reject differential treatment and have zero tolerance for discrimination. To prevent and control the pandemic, we need understanding, support and cooperation from both Chinese and foreign nationals in China,” and urged all foreign nationals in China to “strictly observe local anti-epidemic regulations. China values her friendly relations with Nigeria. The Embassy stands ready to keep in communication with the Nigerian side in this regard”.
“As a first step toward resolving the issue, both officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria have set up a joint team to meet to review the case pending the resolution of the issue.
“China and Africa are good friends, partners and brothers. Our friendship is forged on the basis of joint effort to seek national independence, liberation, economic development and better livelihood in the past decade, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a recent statement.”
The Chinese authorities in a robust defence against the alleged ill-treatment of Africans, including Nigerians, said: “We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination.” They added that since the outbreak of the Covid-19 the authorities in Guangdong “attach high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including Africa nationals. Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which we were able to save the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions”.
“After the Ebola epidemic broke out in three West African countries in 2014, the Chinese government provided assistance at the earliest time possible and fought side by side with the African countries and peoples. Now faced with Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa are again tiding over difficulties hand in hand, and our friendship is again elevated. We will not forget the support from Africa during our most difficult times. While overcoming difficulties at home, we also give love and care to all African citizens in China, especially African students,” the Chinese authorities said in a recent statement.
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