Maltreatment against Nigerians in China | Reps Urge FG To Repatriate illegal Chinese immigrants

Against the background of continuous documented maltreatment of Nigerians in China, the House of Representatives on Tuesday mandated its Committees on Interior, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring, and Commerce to investigate the Nigerian Immigration, Corporate Affairs Commission, Nigerian Content and Development Monitoring Board, and any other relevant Ministry, Department or Agency in a bid to commence processes that will lead to the repatriation of illegal Chinese immigrants.

The committees are to check the validity of all immigration documents of every Chinese person in Nigeria and the expatriate quota of all the Chinese businesses in Nigeria to ascertain the number of illegal and undocumented Chinese immigrants in Nigeria and to repatriate them to China to regularise.

The lawmakers also condemned “in its entirety, the maltreatment, discrimination and xenophobic attacks against Nigerians 1n the Peoples Republic of China.”

The resolutions were sequel to a motion titled: “Maltreatment and Institutional Acts of Racial Discrimination against Nigerians Living in China by the Government of China:” sponsored by Reps Benjamin Okezie Kalu and nine others.

Watch this too | Nigeria’s consul general in Guangzhou Mr lawal challenging the Chinese officers after a series of videos show maltreatment and harassment of Nigerians chased out of their hotels.

While moving the motion, the lawmaker said the House is aware that as a result of the mutually beneficial diplomatic and economic relationship between Nigeria and China, about 10,000 Nigerians, including investors, traders, workers and students, currently reside in and around Guangzhou in the Guangdong Province of the Peoples Republic of China.

“These Nigerians have generated massive trade volumes between the two countries such that for 2019 alone, the Nigeria-China trade value was worth over $8.6 billion.

“Recalls that sometimes on April 8, 2020, photos and videos appeared on various social media outlets depicting institutionalized acts of racial discrimination, maltreatment, xenophobic assaults, embarrassments, illegal detentions and forceful evictions of Nigerians and other Africans living in Guangzhou.

“Concerned that under the pretext of curbing the spread of COVID-l9, which ironically originated in Wuhan, China, several kinds of maltreatment of Nigerian citizens in Guangzhou have been perpetrated by Chinese people and authorities including wrongful confiscation of Nigerian International Passports, prolonged and illegal detention of Nigerians in the name of mandatory quarantine despite their having certificates of clean health and no recent travel history, outright refusal to release the test results, and the eviction of Nigerians from their homes and hotel accommodations, etc.;

“Worried that in the exercise of his function of protecting the interests of nationals of a Sending State as provided for under Article 5 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, the Nigerian Consul General was treated in clear violation of Article 40 of the said treaty which requires the Receiving State to treat consular officers with due respect and to take all appropriate steps to prevent attacks on their persons, freedom or dignity.”

The lawmaker also recalled the “troubling” case of Mr. Felix Awah Elijah, a Nigerian citizen and legal resident in China who he said mysteriously disappeared after his abduction and prolonged illegal detention by Chinese Police Authorities sometime around 6 February, 2019.

According to him, all letters and appeals from Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, his representative in the House of Representatives, were ignored by the Chinese Authorities.

He also expressed concern that the actions of the Chinese authorities do not reciprocate the favourable treatment their nationals enjoy in Nigeria, but have instead, put a strain on the diplomatic and economic relations between Nigeria and China thereby endangering Nigerian businesses in China valued at billions of dollars.

“Also worried that the actions and inactions of the Chinese Authorities clearly establish a trend of racial discrimination as defined in Article 1(1) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination to mean “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin.”

Such actions and inactions are in breach of several other international conventions to which Nigeria and China are signatories, he said.

Kalu said that China is under an obligation to guarantee equality between citizens and non-citizens in the enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights to the extent recognized under international law and enunciated especially in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“Also aware that the Honourable Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Ahmed Jidda undertook various independent and coordinated interventions, including meetings with the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingiian, to register Nigeria’s displeasure with the incidents;

“Further concerned that despite the assurances of the Chinese Government to arrest the situation, the maltreatment of Nigerians in China persists;

Kalu said that it has become imperative to take further actions to ensure the safety and welfare of Nigerians in line with the provisions of Section l4(2)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

The Green Chamber further urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to, as a matter of urgency, “ensure that all Nigerians who wish to return home, including Nigerians that Only visited for business, Nigerians with any form of travel document and identification, Nigerians with passports but expired visas, and Nigerians with passports and valid visas who have been ejected by house owners, Nigerians who have tested negative to COVID-19, are evacuated from China and quarantined upon arrival;

The lawmakers further urged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to provide all necessary financial and other assistance to affected Nigerian citizens in China who wish to seek redress in any local or international court for breach of fundamental rights, loss of property or any other actionable cause occasioned by their maltreatment or discrimination in China;

The Committees on Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and Diaspora were thereafter mandated to ascertain the extent of violation of rights of Nigerians in China as well as losses arising from such maltreatments and to further engage the Chinese Parliament appropriately to register Nigeria’s National Assembly condemnation of the maltreatment, discrimination and xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in China.

They are also to ensure the cessation of such actions by China’s people and government and that treatments meted to Nigerians are compatible with China’s human rights obligations, and to report back within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.

‘Buhari is a shy person, dislikes public show’ – Rotimi Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a “shy person” who dislikes public shows.

Amaechi made the remark while disclosing why Buhari has not commissioned the Itakpe-Warri rail line after it was completed. He spoke during an interview with Dele Momodu, Publisher of Ovation Magazine.

According to Amaechi: “Now the project is ready for Commissioning but because of Coronavirus everything is on hold. “And you know the President is a shy person. He doesn’t like the public shows. “What he said is that let’s just focus on our achievements and by the time we leave office people will see what we have done but some of us are insisting that we commission some of our projects. We have decided to name it after former President Goodluck Jonathan.”

El-Rufai Tests Positive for COVID-19

Kaduna Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19). The governor, in a live broadcast, said he submitted a sample for the COVID-19 test and the result came in positive.

He stated he has been in isolation according to doctors’ orders.

El rufai

He said: “Earlier this week, I submitted a sample for the COVID-19 test and the result came in this evening and I regret to say that it is positive.

“According to the protocols for managing COVID-19, I am in self-isolation as required by the case management guidelines of the NCDC for someone that is no showing symptoms.

“I wish to appeal to the people of Kaduna State to continue to closely observe the preventive measures already announced.

It is most important that everybody should do their utmost to stay safe, stay home and stay alive. “The Deputy Governor is chairing our COVID Taskforce and will continue to issue statements from time to time,” he said

Governor Ishaku Returns to Jalingo after 87-days Exile in Abuja

Taraba state governor,  Darius Ishaku on  Thursday returned to Jalingo, the capital, after 87 days of exile in Abuja.

The governor arrived at Danbaba Suntai Airport Jalingo exactly 4: 11 pm amidst tight security. Ishaku was last seen in the state on 22nd December 2019 after presenting the 2020 appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly on the nineteenth of the same month.

Governor Ishaku

He later signed the state’s Appropriation Bill there in Abuja, after his aides carried the documents to him in the nation’s capital.

The governor’s long stay outside the state irked the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who threatened to institute a court action against him for failing to transmit powers to his deputy, Haruna Manu.

The governor through his Special Adviser on Media and publicity Bala Dan Abu, told Journalists in a press statement that the governor had a domestic accident and was in Abuja base on medical advice.

The state house of assembly on their part passed a vote of confidence on the governor which many described as supporting impunity in the state.

Addressing journalists, on arrival at the airport, the governor agreed that he had a domestic accident in his Abuja residence at about 8 pm when he was climbing the staircase.

He said his stay in Abuja was not against the Constitution of the country since he was still within the country. He stressed that even in his absence projects were still ongoing in the state.

“On the 22nd December, 2019 I was climbing the staircase, suddenly the light went off and I felt down, for those who saw me the next day I was limping. I traveled abroad for medical treatment and on return to the country, my doctors asked me to rest. That was why I stayed in Abuja, Even in my absence, massive roads construction and other projects are still ongoing”, Ishaku said.

While declaring ‘No handshake’ in Taraba as a result of the coronavirus the governor appreciated the people of the state for their prayers and also warned against unnecessary trips as part of measures to avoid coronavirus.