The Nigerian Government has launched an investigation into the alleged abuse of Nigerians in China since the outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in December.
This comes on the back of a wave of outcry over the alleged attacks and abuse of Nigerians in the Chinese region of Guangdong.
Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed the ongoing investigation, 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 by its authorities saying that the country has zero tolerance for 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.