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CLO Urges Govt to Expedite Evacuation Of Nigerians Stranded in China




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Photo: Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama

From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) has appealed  to the Nigerian federal government to as a matter of urgency, expedite action on arrangements to bring back home over 300 of its citizens who went on a business trip to Guangzhou, China, but are presently trapped in the country over the Covid-19 lockdown.

It said the affected Nigerians who risk being homeless in the foreign land, will also face starvation and severe untold hardship if nothing is urgently done to evacuate them back home

“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 native’s actions towards Africans.

“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.

A statement issued by its Executive Director, Comrade Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike, made available to African Examiner in Enugu Wednesday, said: “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. CLO also appeals 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.

According to Ezike, “over 300 Nigerian businessmen 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.

The CLO,  chief said  some of the affected Nigerians who Spoke to them, through phone and social media communications “in the early hours of today,  are sending “Save Our Souls”  (SOS) appeal to the federal government in  Abuja, saying that 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.

He added that “that the Nigerians said they are appealing to President Muhammad Buhari to have compassion on them, their families and loved ones back home who they have missed for over a month now

The stranded Nigeria’s, CLO hinted, said that they have no money on them again to retain their hotel rooms and feed.

“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.” the Organization quoted the Nigerians as saying.

“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,” the pleaded with the human Rights body.

“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 to 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.”

Ezike further quoted another victim as saying, ” there are internationally recognized practices of handling people returning from another country to theirs.

“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 stranded Nigerian stated.


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