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Reps summon minister over deportation of Nigerians

BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE

ABUJA—The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Monday, summoned Mr. Gbenga Ashiru, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appear before it today, to clarify Nigeria’s relationship with  other African countries.

Chairman of the committee, Mrs. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, told newsmen in Abuja  that the committee was worried by the festering diplomatic row between Nigeria and her African neighbours.

Elendu-Ukeje  said the committee was disturbed by the series of negative attacks on Nigerians and its High Commissions, especially in Africa and the sub-region.

The House Committee chairman  said the recent deportation of 125 Nigerians by the South African government was the height of insult and indignation Nigerians would be subjected to on the continent.

She said recently, the Nigerian embassy was attacked in South Africa for no reason, wondering why such should be happening to Nigeria.

Elendu-Ukeje also recalled the recent lock-up of some Nigerians in Togo by Togolese authorities without any form of explanation to the Nigerian government.

She said: “We are, indeed, worried about all these indignation and scorn Nigerians are  subjected to all over the world, especially by her sister-African nations, which calls for a review of our relationship with these countries.

“So, we have invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs to a meeting on Tuesday to come and explain to us our relationship with these countries and why Nigerians are being subjected to ridicule all over the world.”

She  said it was high time the country put its act together and take its rightful position in Africa, which could only be done with redefining relationships with African neighbours.

“The outcome of the meeting will shape our next line of action as a parliament in our foreign policy direction and relationship with these countries. We cannot allow these insults on our citizens and country continue  unabated,” she added.

It would be recalled that  125 Nigerians were deported from South Africa on Friday over yellow fever vaccination card.
The 125 Nigerians, who arrived South Africa on Thursday, were deported on Friday with 75 of them on board South African Airways. The other 50 were aboard a Nigerian carrier, Arik Airline.


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