Following videos and reports online that Nigerians in China were being harassed by Chinese officials, the Federal Government has summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjan.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyema, in a tweet on his verified Twitter handle.
According to Onyema, he urged the ambassador to speak with Chinese authorities to intervene on the matter.
The minister tweeted: “Invited the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian to communicate @NigeriaGov’s extreme concern at allegations of maltreatment of Nigerians in Guangzhou, #China and called for immediate Chinese Govt. intervention. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19 @DigiCommsNG @NigeriaMFA.”
Videos have been making rounds online showing the Consul General of the Nigerian Embassy in China, Cyril Anozie, confronting Chinese officials over alleged maltreatment of Nigerian nationals.
The videos that have drawn an hashtag #ChinaMustExplain are eliciting comments and questions from Nigerians on social media, who have equally called on the Nigerian government, as well the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to look into the issue as a matter of urgency.
In some of the videos shared, the Chinese police could be seen sending people out to their residents, and in one particular video, a man speaking in Igbo can be heard lamenting that, “they have driven us out of our houses and have also stopped us from lodging in hotels.” This video was shot in front of a restaurant named African Pot Restaurant.
Another video shows a group of black people moving in the dark into what looks like a warehouse, with a voice in the background saying, “look where they brought us to, no exit.”
More videos emerging are showing testing facilities where Chinese nationals are encountering resistance from Africans to get tested for the coronavirus, with a complainant in one of these videos pushing back on the forced testing saying that, “we will not do anything without our embassy.”
A few hours after, a man, Oluyemi Fasipe did a post on Twitter, tagging the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, to one of the videos in circulation, to which the minister responded that, “we will engage the Chinese government urgently”.