Nigeria has served notice it will not tolerate the inhumane treatment of its nationals in Chinese officials in their bid to control the spread of the coronavirus disease, Covid-19.
Kenya has similarly demanded explanations from Chinese authorities over alleged maltreatment of Africans in China.
Videos of Chinese officials and landlords subjecting members of the African community in China, particularly Guangzhou to brash treatment, have emerged to the chagrin of the international community.
Nigeria’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila is reported by Vanguard to have summoned the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian to a meeting on Friday at which he warned Chinese authorities against any inhuman and unlawful treatment of Nigerian citizens resident in their country.
The report said the Nigerian Speaker confronted the Ambassador with the video of an incident where a Nigerian was seen challenging Chinese officials over the unhealthy treatment meted out to Nigerians in China and demanded that the inhuman acts on Nigerians must be addressed forthwith.
The Speaker also drew the Ambassador’s attention to media reports/viral videos from Beijing showing Nigerians being forced out of their houses and hotels, rounded up and their passports seized by the Chinese police.
“The videos also showed that some Nigerians were being forced into another 14-day quarantine after the initial 14 days they spent for same purpose over the Covid-19 pandemic in China”, said the report, which then quotes Gbajabiamila as demanding an investigation and feedback from the Ambassador.
“The diplomatic relationships between our two countries are for the mutual benefits of our citizens, then there must be respect for our citizens, and we should not compromise it.
“As a government, we will not allow Chinese or other nationals to be maltreated just as we will not allow Nigerians to be maltreated in other countries.
“The way you treat your citizens, we expect that’s how you’ll treat others. We will not tolerate our citizens breaking your laws, but the crime of one citizen cannot be used to stigmatize the whole country.
“It appears that’s what happened in this case. You can’t use one brush to smear the whole wall. Whatever the reason, it cannot be used and taken out on the entire community in China”.
Meanwhile the Kenyan Foreign Affairs Ministry is asking all Kenyan citizens in China to remain in touch with the embassy in Beijing, either directly or through their Kenyan community leaders.
According to the Nation, many Kenyans have accused China of turning a blind eye to humiliation meted on innocent Africans and have called on other countries to rise up against this brutality.
“Kenya says it has raised a complaint with Beijing over footage of Kenyans sleeping on pavements and complaining of forced evictions.”