The House of Representatives has summoned the minister of foreign affairs and chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission to appear before it over alleged maltreatment of Nigerians in Ethiopia.
The lawmakers invited the officials to brief them on measures taken to protect Nigerians and air travellers to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
This was sequel to a motion moved by Kingsley Chinda, the House minority leader and ten others on the “Need to investigate alleged victimisation and maltreatment of Nigerians in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia” on Thursday during plenary.
In his lead debate, Chinda pointed to the alleged incidence of victimisation, maltreatment and forced imprisonment of Nigerians, including air travellers, in Addis Ababa.
He alleged that about 250 Nigerians were serving various jail terms in Ethiopia as a result of frequent attacks and may die in prison if urgent steps were not taken to save them.
The minority leader said that these Nigerians were not only poorly treated but also subjected to very agonising conditions, poor feeding and without medication.
Chinda alleged that some Nigerians were serving in the Chaota Maximum Security and other prisons in Ethiopia, most of whom travellers that used the Ethiopian airport as a transit point where they were indiscriminately arrested and taken to the hospital and forcefully injected with some substances and later taken to prison facilities.
Recall that one Paul Ezike in a “safe our soul message” circulated a message at the instance of a Nigerian allegedly arrested and put in prison in Ethiopia.
“Cognizant 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”.
Chinda expressed worries that if early interventions and diplomatic measures were not taken by the Nigerian government to check the incessant attacks on Nigerians in Addis Ababa, air travellers would be at risk.
The House called for the protection of Nigerians in Addis Ababa, other parts of the world and their air travellers. They demanded that Nigerians be given the same protection given to foreigners who live in Nigeria.