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Reps deplore alleged maltreatment of Nigerians in China, urge evacuation

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•Want repatriation of Chinese with illegal residence permits
•First coronavirus patient recovers, discharged from hospital

The House of Representatives yesterday condemned the alleged maltreatment of Nigerians in China.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Benjamin Kalu at plenary presided over by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, the lower legislative chamber urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to, as a matter of urgency, ensure that all willing COVID-19 negative Nigerians were evacuated from the Asian nation and quarantined upon arrival.

It also urged the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and others to assist those raring to seek redress in any local or international court for breach of their fundamental rights, loss of property or any other actionable cause occasioned by their alleged maltreatment or discrimination.

The green chamber therefore mandated its committees on Interior, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and Commerce, to prevail on the Nigeria Immigration Service, Corporate Affairs Commission, the NCDMB and any other concerned department or agency to verify the immigration documents of every Chinese in the country as well as the expatriate quota of their businesses in Nigeria with a view to ascertaining the illegal and undocumented ones and ensuring their repatriation for regularisation .

The lawmakers further ordered the committees on Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights and Diaspora, to determine the extent of violation of rights of Nigerians in China in addition to losses arising from the maltreatment for onward transmission to the Chinese parliament.

The panels were given two weeks to report back for further legislative action.

Besides, the first Nigerian, who was diagnosed of COVID-19 in the Asian nation and simply identified as Kingsley, has been cured and discharged from hospital. The 51-year-old man left the facility at about 10:30am yesterday.

The Southcn.com quoted Dr. Wu Peilian from Zone 3 of the Municipal No.8 People’s Hospital in Guangzhou as saying the patient tested positive for the virus on March 15 after exhibiting fever, cough and choking.

In the meantime, over 300 Nigerian businessmen and women currently trapped in Guangzhou due to the coronavirus lockdown have appealed to the Federal Government to return them home.

In an appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, the distressed compatriots said they were at the mercy of hunger and starvation, having exhausted the money on them.

A statement yesterday in Enugu by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Executive Director, Ibuchukwu Ezike, pleaded with the Nigerian leader to give their prayer speedy attention “to enable them rejoin their loved ones back home who they have missed for over a month now, as they have no money on them again to retain their hotel rooms and feed.”


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