Videos circulating the internet suggest that Nigerians in Guangzhou, China are being maltreated by Chinese authorities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
In some of the videos, Nigerians speaking in Igbo language, one of Nigeria’s major tribes, complain against hash treatments they receive in China. Some said they were evicted from their houses and now being chased around as they roam in the streets.
“They are here again oh. The only place that remains that we are thinking that we are going to sleep this night, there are here again.” One of the displaced Nigerians said in one of the videos as he is being chased by Chinese official in Guangzhou.
Chinese policemen can be seen in some of the videos moving after the Nigerians.
“They keep chasing us around, everywhere we go. We cannot stand up to three or two hours in one place, they will start chasing us around. We don’t have house, we don’t have food, we don’t have anywhere to go.” Another Nigerian said as Chinese officials move after them in the streets.
The Nigerians seen in the videos are said to be businessmen who reside in the city of Guangzhou, China.
In another video, a Nigerian official is seen challenging an official of the Chinese government for harassing Nigerians in China.
The official claimed the Chinese police forced Nigerians in China out of their homes into a compulsory 14 days quarantine. They were allegedly placed on another 14 days quarantine after the initial one.
“They are not criminals, why are you harassing them” The Nigerian official queried the Chinese official in the video.
“If you want to do your policy of 14 days, shut everybody down without discrimination” The Nigerian official told the Chinese official.
Similar issues have been reported of other Africans in China.
The federal government through the Foreign Affairs Minister has demanded that Beijing works to curtail mistreatment of Nigerians in the commercial hub of Guangzhou.
Minister Geoffrey Onyeama on Thursday invited the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian to communicate the government’s extreme concern at allegations of maltreatment of Nigerians in Guangzhou and called for immediate Chinese government intervention.
The BBC reporter in Hong Kong, Danny Vincent reported the mass evictions of African nationals on Tuesday confirming yesterday that two days on, the situation had yet to be resolved.
Online rumours that the coronavirus was spreading among the thousands of Africans in the city led to door-to-door testing, evictions and accusations of forced quarantine. “We have no house, no food, no hotel,” one student from Nigeria told the BBC.
“There are up to 100 people still on the streets. 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.”
The Nigerian foreign ministry has also confirmed that efforts are underway to evacuate stranded Nigerians who wish to return home.
Head of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has disclosed that thirteen Nigerians have so far died overseas as a result of the COVID-19. She made this known on Thursday evening via a video containing the names, pictures and countries of residence of the departed compatriots.
This is happening as Nigeria welcomed a team of 15 Chinese doctors into the country to support the country’s fight against the covid-19 pandemic.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Zhou Pingjian told newsmen that the team and equipment brought into Nigeria costs China over $2M and that the Chinese government was reciprocating Nigeria’s gesture to them during the early covi-19 struggles in China.
Of the 13 persons, eight died in the United Kingdom while five died in the United States. The 55-second clip listed the departed souls in the UK as Dr Alfa Sa’adu, Carol Jamabo, Dr Kole Abayomi, Bode Ajanlekoko, Adeola Onasanya, Ugochukwu Erondu, Chidinma Olajide and Mmaete Greg.
Bassey Offiong, Caleb Anya, Akeem Adagun, Laila Abubakar and Patricia Imobhio were profiled to have died of the infection in America.
As at 9th of April, Nigeria recorded 14 new cases of #COVID19 making it a total of 288 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria. The country has also recorded 51 discharges and 7 deaths so far.