NIGERIA’S embassy in Beijing is preparing to evacuate all of its citizens from China in response to the terrible discrimination they are suffering from in the hands of the Chinese authorities as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the last few days, videos of the Chinese authorities singling Nigerians out have gone viral, showing them being evicted from hotels and asked to go into addition 14-days quarantines even after they have been tested as negative. Across Chins, hundreds of Nigerians are now destitute, surviving off handouts from foreign charities.
This led to an official from the high commission in Beijing confronting the Chinese foreign minister and in Abuja, the speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila invited the Chinese ambassador to the national Assembly to show him the videos and complain. With several viral videos on social media showing that scores of Nigerian students and businessmen in Guangzhou have been evicted from their apartments and hotel rooms by Chinese authorities, the embassy is working on evacuating them.
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. These recent viral videos show Nigerians lamenting the inhumane treatment they received from the Chinese authorities, who they said have not provided them with any alternative food or shelter since their eviction.
One Nigerian student said: “We have no house, no food, no hotel. There are up to 100 people still on the streets and 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.”
In an open letter, the All African Association of Guangzhou called on the Chinese authorities to end the inhumane treatment, hatred and outright discrimination against Africans that is currently going on in Guangzhou. Apparently, about 10 African community leaders in Guangzhou are technically under house arrest using the term quarantine.
Nigeria’s foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama, has asked the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian, to communicate the government’s concerns to his home government. Mr Onyeama drew the attention of the ambassador to the videos and after an elaborate discussion, the ambassador promised to look into the matter.