The Nigerian Embassy in Beijing, China says the government was now prepared to evacuate its citizens from China.
This move followed several viral videos on social media showing that scores of Nigerian students and businessmen in Guangzhou have been evicted from their apartments and hotel rooms by Chinese authorities.
Guangzhou is home to one of China’s largest African communities and has become a hub for African traders buying and selling goods to the continent.
The viral videos show the victims lamenting their inhumane treatments by the authorities, who they said have not provided them with an alternative of food or shelter since their eviction.
“We have no house, no food, no hotel,” one student from Nigeria told the BBC. “There are up to 100 people still on the streets. People want to go back to our countries. I don’t know what the problem is with China.
Everywhere that Africans live they are pushing us away.” In an open letter by the All African Association of Guangzhou, community leaders called on the authorities to end the “the inhumane treatment, hatred, and outright discrimination of Africans that is currently going on in Guangzhou”.
“About 10 African community leaders in Guangzhou are technically under house arrest using the term quarantine. These actions are difficult to comprehend when you consider the fact that these are people whose official test results came back negative just one or two days ago.”
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on Thursday tweeted that he invited the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian, to communicate FG’s concern at allegations of maltreatment of Nigerians in Guangzhou.
The Minister’s spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye told our reporter that the Minister “drew the attention of the Ambassador to the videos going viral online concerning the situation of Nigerians in Guangzhou and after an elaborate discussion, the Ambassador promised to look into the matter, promising to sort out the issue and probably get back to the minister”.