Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Says “Poor Communication Made Nigerians Misunderstood China”

GEOFFREY-ONYEAMA

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Tuesday said that poor communication between the Chinese authorities and African consulates in Guangzhou, China, was responsible for the tensions that arose concerning the alleged maltreatment of Nigerians.

He disclosed this while briefing journalists in Abuja in company with the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian. Onyeama said that the lack of communication made a lot of Nigerians and Africans to misunderstand what was happening in China. Onyeama said that if there was effective communication, African consulates would have assisted the Chinese authorities in the action it was taking.

Onyeama, who made reference to a video in both Igbo and English languages which explained that the situation was not quite what was seen in the earlier viral video which only portrayed maltreatment of Nigerians in China, explained that the Chinese authorities were trying to contain some Africans including a Nigerian restaurant owner, who came into China and tested positive for the virus.

Onyeama further said after seeing the new video which had a different narrative, he immediately alerted the Nigerian Embassy and officials in Guangzhou at the consulate, particularly the acting consul-general.

He added that the consulate confirmed that that narrative was true, that the Chinese authorities were trying to quarantine a set of Africans who came into China and tested positive. Onyeama however disclosed that both the Nigerian and Chinese authorities were working closely to resolve the issue.

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