CLO raises alarm over plights of 300 Nigerian businessmen trapped in China

By AdvocateNews on 29/04/2020

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Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama

Over 300 Nigerian business men and women who are trapped in the Chinese business capital, Guangzhou, since the COVID-19 lockdown across the world began, now face eviction and starvation challenges this week.

Nigerians who sent save our souls messages to the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, through phone and social media communications early hours of April 28, appealed the federal government for help as they are left without money to pay for their hotel accommodations and feeding in China and may be thrown out of their hotels and denied food this week.

They appealed to President Muhammad Buhari to have compassion on them, their families and loved ones back home that they have missed for over a month now, lamenting that they have no money on them again to retain their hotel rooms and feed.

One of them said, “Please, use your good offices to convey to the Nigerian Authorities and people our plights here in China. We are not resident here. We have nobody to take care of us. Nor are we illegal persons. We are patriotic Nigerians who came here to buy articles of trade and got trapped by this global pandemic. Ask our government to save us from international embarrassment,” he pleaded.

The CLO gathered that the Chinese government which, hitherto, seized their international passports, has released them to the Nigerians. Also, the victims who regularly tested for Coronavirus, have been testing negative of the terror disease. They sent the specimen of the certificates from the Chinese medical authorities signifying that they are free from coronavirus infections.

Another source, who spoke to the CLO, said that they are not asking the Nigerian Government to fly them back to Nigeria on her expenses, saying, ”we have our return tickets with Ethiopian Airlines back to Nigeria.

"Despite that, we are willing to comply with whatever legal directives of our government provided we back home."

According to CLO, "another Nigerian told us that there are internationally recognized practices of handling people returning from another country to theirs.

He said, ” you can fly us to one city in Nigeria, say for instance, Abuja or Lagos and quarantine us there for 14 days, subjecting us to NCDC tests and if after those 14 days we test negative to the disease, then, you allow us to rejoin our families.

"We are not asking that we be flown to Nigeria to join our homes without undergoing these processes."

The CLO appeals to the Nigerian authorities to, as a matter of urgency, expedite actions on arranging to bring these Nigerians home without further delay.

“We fear for these Nigerians who may soon be thrown out of their hotels to wander the streets of China and starve. Reports from China of late do not speak favourably of the natives’ actions towards Africans.

"The CLO is afraid that these Nigerians may face dangerous threats to their lives in the hands of security agents and the natives when they are thrown out of their hotel rooms.

“Our second source of fear stems from the rumour of another developing news of a new dangerous virus in China called Hantavirus. The Global Times reported that the virus related disease is said to have started attacking people in Yunnan province of that country where one deceased victim has been registered. It is advisable to evacuate our people out of China before the new disease spread in that country, ” according to a statement by Ibuchukwu Ezike, Executive Director CLO.

The CLO also appealed to the international community, the National Assembly, leaders of thought, Nigerian mothers and religious leaders to support the appeal to the Government to immediately fly these Nigerians back home. May the stitch in time save us nine”.

Posted 29/04/2020 2:15:39 PM


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