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VIDEO: ‘Stop seizing the passports of our citizens’ — Nigerian diplomat tackles Chinese officials
Razaq Lawal, head of the Nigerian consulate in Guangzhou, Guangdong province of China, has tackled Chinese officials for seizing the passports of some Nigerians in the country.
In a trending video, Lawal was seen addressing a Chinese official he referred to as “director”. He accused the country of also discriminating against Nigerians by quarantining them illegally.
According to him, Nigerians who travelled to China were being made to undergo another round of 14 days quarantine after testing negative for coronavirus.
“COVID-19 started in Wuhan, China. When Chinese travelled to Nigeria that time, Nigeria didn’t quarantine them. These are the people that are living in China, they are not business men. That is what I’m telling you when you say money or life. They are here,” Lawal said.
“All the people that came from Nigeria for business, they are entitled to go for 14 days quarantine in line with what you sent to us as your policy. We agree with that.
“All these people, when they finish the 14 days quarantine, they give them a paper of release. Why are they still giving them another 14 days quarantine again? It is not acceptable. The first 14 days is attestable by us, another 14 days, you didn’t communicate with us. They have tested negative and they have given them the paper. Why are they doing another 14 days?”
Lawal, who was seen retrieving the seized passports of some Nigerians, further protested the seizure.
He likened it to “seizing Nigeria as a whole”, adding that it is unacceptable.
Citing Nigeria as an example, Lawal told the Chinese official that if the country wanted to quarantine people, it should not aim it at the citizens of a particular country but order a total lockdown.
“This passport belongs to the federal government of Nigeria. In line with international practice, no country has the right to seize the international passport of another country. I just withdrew it from them, they seized it. Why are they seizing Nigerian passports? It does not belong to China. If you seize Nigeria passport, it’s like you’re seizing Nigeria as a whole. It is not acceptable,” he said.
“You didn’t communicate to us that you’re going to go to all the Nigerian houses, ask them to come out and quarantine them. If you want to do your policy of 14 days, shut down everybody, don’t discriminate. Everybody should sit at home, including Chinese and you as a director. That is exactly what Nigeria did. We didn’t say only Nigerians should go to work while the Chinese are quarantined. No!”