Coronavirus: Govt protests Chinese racism, curtail mistreatment of Nigerians

The federal government through the Foreign Affairs Minister has demanded that Beijing works to curtail mistreatment of Nigerians in the commercial hub of Guangzhou.

Minister Geoffrey Onyeama on Thursday invited the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian to communicate the government’s extreme concern at allegations of maltreatment of Nigerians in Guangzhou and called for immediate Chinese government intervention.

The BBC reporter in Hong Kong, Danny Vincent reported the mass evictions of African nationals on Tuesday confirming yesterday that two days on, the situation had yet to be resolved.

Online rumours that the coronavirus was spreading among the thousands of Africans in the city led to door-to-door testing, evictions and accusations of forced quarantine. “We have no house, no food, no hotel,” one student from Nigeria told the BBC.

“There are up to 100 people still on the streets. People want to go back to our countries. I don’t know what the problem is with China. Everywhere that Africans live they are pushing us away.”

Guangzhou is home to one of China’s largest African communities and has become a hub for African traders buying and selling goods to the continent.

The Nigerian foreign ministry has also confirmed that efforts are underway to evacuate stranded Nigerians who wish to return home.

Head of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that thirteen Nigerians have so far died overseas as a result of the COVID-19. She made this known on Thursday evening via a video containing the names, pictures and countries of residence of the departed compatriots.

Of the 13 persons, eight died in the United Kingdom while five died in the United States. The 55-second clip listed the departed souls in the UK as Dr Alfa Sa’adu, Carol Jamabo, Dr Kole Abayomi, Bode Ajanlekoko, Adeola Onasanya, Ugochukwu Erondu, Chidinma Olajide and Mmaete Greg.

Bassey Offiong, Caleb Anya, Akeem Adagun, Laila Abubakar and Patricia Imobhio were profiled to have died of the infection in America.

May the souls of our brothers and sisters in Diaspora , who lost their lives to Covid 19, RIP. May the Lord heal the world ??— Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) April 9, 2020