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Diplomacy: Nigeria and African Union Protested China’s Targeting of Nigerian Citizens

There have been reports that the coronavirus infection had recently broken out in the neighborhood of Sanyuanli, Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. The local government had been screening and quarantining people living in that neighborhood, including many African people living there.

An online video showed that the Nigeria Consul-General Anozie Maduabuchi Cyril confronted the Chinese enforcement team who had confiscated the passports of three Nigerians living in that area, though they did not show any sign of having the coronavirus infection.

A visibly angry Cyril accused the Chinese officials of seizing the passports of those Nigerian citizens and quarantining Nigerians, who had not traveled out the area for years. Cyril contended that the documents were the property of the Nigerian Government and China had no right to seize them.

Addressing one senior Chinese official in the video, Cyril said, “If you want your policy to work, shut down Guangzhou and let everyone including the Chinese remain indoors for 14 days. If you do that, the issue of discrimination will not be there. But if you are only picking on Africans, that is the highest humiliation anyone can get … Nigerians are not criminals, so why are you harassing them? We will continue to protect them.”

Cyril said even though the coronavirus pandemic coming out of China has closed business and everything in Nigeria, they didn’t target Chinese living there. “In Nigeria, we have a lot of Chinese, I don’t think you have ever received any information that the Government of Nigeria go to their various houses and pick them for quarantine, so why are Africans and indeed Nigerians being targeted in China?”

The Nigeria government and the African Union protested China for discriminating against the Nigerians.

The Nigerian Foreign Minister called in the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria to protest. The Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament of Nigeria also applied pressure when he chided the Ambassador in a separate meeting.

The African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat tweeted that his office had summoned the Chinese envoy to the AU over the case.

“My Office invited the Chinese Ambassador to the AU, Mr. Liu Yuxi, to express our extreme concern at allegations of maltreatment of Africans in Guangzhou plus called for immediate remedial measures in line with our excellent relations. The African group in Beijing is also engaging with the govt.”

Related postings on Chinascope:

1. Source: YouTube

2. Source: Sahara Reporters, April 11, 2020

3. Source: Africa News, April 11, 2020