The House of Representatives on Thursday, October 12, summoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, and the chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri to brief the House on measures being taken to protect Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
This followed a motion by the minority leader of the House, Kingsley China, and 10 others on the victimization, maltreatment and forced imprisonment of Nigerians, including air travellers, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The others are Hon.Abdussamad Dasukki, Hon. Laori Kwamoti Bittrus, Hon. Aliyu Madaki, Hon. Unyime Idem, Hon. Nkwonta Chris, Hon. Abbas Adogun, Hon. Kabiru Ahmadu, Hon. Ibe O. Osonwa, Hon. Ginger Onwusibe and Hon. Kelechi Nwogu
Leading debate on the motion, Chinda alleged that one Paul Ezike in a “safe our soul message” circulated a message at the instance of a Nigerian allegedly arrested and put in Ethiopia prison.
He said some Nigerians are currently serving at the Chaota Maximum Security and other prisons in Ethiopia most of whom are travellers that use the Ethiopian Airport as a transit point where they are indiscriminately arrested at the Ethiopia Airport in Addis Ababa, taken to the hospital and forcefully injected with some substances and later taken to the prison facilities.
According to him, Nigerians in Addis Ababa and all over the world and their air travellers should be protected and should be accorded the same protection Nigeria gives to foreigners who live in Nigeria.
He said further that about 250 Nigerians are currently serving prison terms in Ethiopia as a result of frequent attacks and may die in prison if urgent steps are not taken to save them.
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He explained that these Nigerians are not only poorly treated but are also subjected to very agonizing conditions, poor feeding and without medication.
He said that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) joined the rest of Africa to sign a remarkable Trade Agreement for the continent and the fact that Nigerians are industrious entrepreneurs and have spent years transacting business in Addis Ababa and air travellers contributing to their economy.
He said that if early interventions and diplomatic measures are not taken by the Nigerian Government to check the incessant attacks on Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and air travellers would be at risk.