FG speaks after Congolese govt ejected Nigerian ambassador from residence

Congolese security operatives on Thursday brushed aside diplomatic immunity usually enjoyed by representatives of foreign governments to eject Nigerian Ambassador to Congo, Mr Ibim Charles, from his official residence.

The ambassador’s residence is in the highbrow district of Gombe in Kinshasa, the capital city, reserved for diplomats.

A video of the ejection went viral on social media.

In the video, properties belonging to Nigerian Embassy were thrown out of the building, with some officials seen stranded outside after they were locked out of their accommodation.

It was not immediately clear why the embassy was subjected to the treatment, which is said to have happened on Thursday.

The incident came few weeks after federal government voiced its displeasure over the maltreatment of Nigerians in some African countries.

In the video, the ambassador was seen expressing shock over the sack from the accommodation, which he said was donated to the Nigerian mission in the late 1970s.

Nigerians resident in Ghana, South Africa and Togo have lately faced attacks in recent times. Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians have continued especially in South Africa with many killed.

In June, federal government, through chairperson of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, urged an end to the attacks.

Dabiri-Erewa issued the warning after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari after briefing him about such attacks to Nigerians in Ghana and Togo.

Embassy not closed

Federal government meanwhile has said that the embassy has not been closed by DRC.

Mr Ferdinard Nwonye, spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made this known in Abuja on Friday.

“Nigerian Embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo was not shut down. There was a dispute on one of the properties of the mission where officials were residing,” he said.

“When we reported the matter to the Congolese government, the country authorities intervened immediately and the property was handed back to the Nigerian mission.

“The mission bought the property but is still in the process of updating the documents, which are still under Zaire, former name of the country.

“Head of Mission has written to the Permanent Secretary and we are on top of the situation. I can also confirm that activities were not disrupted in our embassy in Congo.”

 

PT

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