A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), under the agies of Coalition of Active Young Citizens has written to the Federal Government seeking an end to alleged maltreatment of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
The CSO made the call in a petition dated April 8, 2021 and addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama.
The Convener, of the group Victor Terhemba, who signed the petition, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Abuja on Friday said
“The group regretted that the inhumane treatment melted on Nigerians abroad was now more pronounced and frustrating, as it now reflects in the West Africa region and even from countries like Cape Verde”.
There were reports last week that authorities in Cape Verde allegedly barred three Nigerians from entry into the country while allowing white foreign travellers in.
According to the CSO, the event in Cape Verde violated the spirit of the
ECOWAS Treaty that established the right of free movements of persons and the right of residence.
He added that the seeming lack of interest by the Federal government on the matter would set up a situation where there are no consequences for treating Nigerians in undignified manners outside the country.
It said: “We have learnt that this is not the first case and that Nigerians have consistently been returned on the basis of having the green passport. We are afraid that should the ministry decide to overlook this issue and allow such to continue, every day Nigerians will continue to languish in maltreatment and undignified attitudes while reputable Nigerians will continue to enjoy the power of the support of the state creating an inequality of some sort. This should not be allowed to be the status quo and should be rebuffed immediately with a strong worthy response.”
The group, therefore, asked the minister of Foreign Affairs to state clearly and publicly the position of the Federal Government on the treatment of Nigerian citizens abroad, especially in the West Africa region.
The CSO urged the government to engage the ECOWAS Commission on laid down rules on what sanctions must be meted to member states who violates its protocols, adding that these sanctions must be set in motion immediately for erring states who refuse to correct the anomalies carried out by their officials or representatives
Victor added that:”Nigerians must be treated with respect and treaties bounding member states in ECOWAS must be respected and there will be consequences if these are violated
“The Ministry must set in motion an investigation into the treatment of Nigerians in Cape Verde and influence the ECOWAS Commission to set an investigation of the same in motion including to find out if Cape Verde has consistently violated the ECOWAS Treaty or stated that it is not bound by them. And if found to be right, an expulsion from the regional community must be set in motion”.