As Chinese Ambassador Says Miscommunication Caused Incident in Guangzhou
Abuja: Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has condemned the treatment of some Nigerians in the city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province of China, who were accused of having Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Recall that recently, some videos were circulated on social media where some Nigerians were being discriminated against, evicted from residence and were not allowed to enter hotels, restaurants and stigmatized as carriers of the COVID-19.
In line with this, the Minister invited the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian to react on the allegations being speculated on the social media, noting that the scenes in the video were very disturbing.
He urged the Chinese authorities to always communicate first with the Nigerian authorities in China or in Nigeria before taking any action concerning the state of Nigerians living in China.
In his words, “We saw images of Nigerians in the streets with their possessions, while their passports were seized by Chinese authorities, this was extremely unpleasant for us all.
“We take very seriously the issue of human right and well being of Nigerians anywhere and everywhere in the world, and the Nigerian government considers it an absolute obligation to intervene in such issues to ensure the rights and dignity of Nigerians are protected anywhere in the world”, he stressed.
For his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Zhou Pingjian, explained that the Guangzhou incident was as a result of miscommunication, noting that measures are already in place to ensure safety for all Nigerians in China.
He further noted that since February 17, 2020, the policy to fight the disease in Guangzhou has been evolving and has changed 10 times, in order to precisely attack the virus.
He also revealed that as at April 13, 119 total cases were reported in Guangzhou, 19 were Africans and 9 were from Nigerians, stating also that 14 new cases involving persons in close contact with those with the virus were reported on Monday, seven from Africa and six from Nigeria.
“We have to protect Nigerians for their health because, according to the statistics, they are the most vulnerable, so that is the logic, the city is trying to test everyone for the security and health of themselves and others.
“We cherish and are fully committed to our partnership with Nigeria, we have full confidence in Nigeria’s determination and capacity to overcome this disease and we believe through this joint fight, the relationship will be strengthened”.
He emphasized that Guangzhou is fighting Coronavirus, not Nigerians nor Africans.