Diplomatic face-off looms between Nigeria and Senegal

The Nigerian government says it has fired a protest letter to the Senegalese government in Dakar asking for information, and guarantees regarding the vandalisation of the embassy by about three dozen protesting Nigerians in the country.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Olugbenga Ashiru, disclosed this to PREMIUM TIMES in an exclusive interview Friday. He also said the Senegalese embassy in Abuja was served with a copy of the protest letter.

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The vandals at the Nigerian embassy in Senegal


Mr. Ashiru said available information at this point to his ministry suggest that the protesters went on a “spontaneous reaction” when they sought to retrieve the corpse of a murdered member of the Nigerian community in Senegal for burial but found, in shock, that the Senegalese authorities had “disposed the corpse.”

Mr. Ashiru also said preliminary investigations also suggested that the deceased Nigerian was “killed by his Senegalese business partner” but added that “we still do not have adequate information to arrive at a clear picture at this point, and refused to be drawn into what measures his ministry or the Nigerian authorities will be considering.

“ We are awaiting for responses from the Senegalese authorities before we can take a next line of action” the minister said.

However, the minister expressed disappointment at the Senegalese Police who he accused of dropping the ball in failing to protect the embassy whereas an early message was sent to them when the protesters approached the embassy gate, “moreso as their post was not far from the embassy” Mr. Ashiru said.

He said the police “did not arrive until the protesters had vandalized the embassy and beaten up the staff.” Mr. Ashiru also said no one has been arrested over the incident.

No one was injured in the attack, according to the minister.

On Wednesday a video documenting the protest was uploaded to YouTube channel showing how about three dozen stick-wielding Nigerians descended on the Nigerian Embassy in Senegal vandalizing cars, office equipment, office fittings and desecrating the Nigerian flag.

They beat up embassy staff available and ransacked the embassy in search of the ambassador who, apparently they could not find. They smashed his official car in protest.

About 5000 documented Nigerians live in Senegal. Many work in a host of international organizations in the country, a good number are into trades especially textiles, and a significant number of Pentecostal clerics have lately found mission in the country.

Senegal is also an important country for the Islamic Tijaniiya sect and their annual festival attracts hundreds of Nigerian Muslim pilgrims.

Culturally, Nigeria and Senegal share similarities on account of the common bonds between the Fulani ethic groups of both countries.

The Senegalese annual festival called `Gbamu, ’ according to official figures, attracts thousands of Nigerian tourists.

The Senegalese authorities believe the festival alone had brought no fever than 10,000 Nigerians into their country between 2010 and 2012


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  • abdullah musa

    Nigeria cant trace sponsors of ghost workers.
    Of course because ghosts do not open current accounts to receive salaries.

  • garba musa

    Pls if u want to do good journalism start by writing people’s name correctly. Who is Fola Ashiru? certainly not Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister

    • Thanks Mr. Musa for drawing our attention to the error. It has since been corrected.

    • Innocent Chukwuka

      Garba Musa or what is your name… what has good journalism got to do with misspelling a name? Was the report accurate or not? That is the point. Now that the name has been corrected are you going to apologise for your own trash. Come to Dakar and see what people are suffering because they carry your country’s passport.

  • king uc

    not only killing the Nigerians here, Senegalese police are also found of brooked into the Nigeria house to collect there money and other vied property,even took Nigeria passport from us here, this there Dic police have more than 300 Nigeria passport in there office and the Nigeria Embassy in Senegal know about this. some time last 2011 the killed a friend of my called Bartholomew ask the Nigeria Embassy here they knows about it but did nothing,the boy was killed by Senegalese police in jaile with his biz money.

  • Emmanuel JUDE

    OMG we don’t have any embassy here in Senegal, this woman and others there are 100% evil killer. Their can not defend Nigerians here, under 6 months the formal Ambassador laft Senegal the Consular Card she did 400CFA this idiot now change the price to 10,000 CFA. And call back one of the thief the formal ambassador sacked from the embassy. Are we going back or front? The so call NIGERIA EMBASSY can not defend the Consular Card they collected 10,000CFA from their fellow Nigerians from Police of any Senegal Authority. The Senegal Government did have upto 25% confidence from any paper that come from the Nigerian Embassy. More than 500 Nigerians is in the prison innocent people they did nothing because of Language problem their can’t defend their self and This Embassy can never ask what this people did. NIGERIANS IS THIS GOOD the people government give billions every months to take care of the citizens can not work their only here for enjoyments. We always meet them in the Bar and Hotels the people we trusted on?

  • Naijaa

    Flag of shame lowered

  • Joen

    It is a pity, that some us from the eastern part of Nigeria are always in the business of destroying Nigeria image that our fathers like Aguiyi Ironsi, Nnamdi Azikiwe fought for. We are regarded all over the world as drug pushers, ritual sacrifice, fraudulent activities etc.

    Igbos demonstrating in India, Igbos demonstrating in Thailand, Igbos demonstrating in Senegal, wetin are we the only tribe in Nigeria. when are we going to wake up. The guy that was killed in Dakar was a drug pusher leaving in Cape Verde. He double crossed his co-drug pushers who got angry and beat him to death. For how long do you think any mortuary in Nigeria will keep the corpse of a thief.

    it is a shame most of us are not educated. where did you get the information that the goverment give Embassies millions every month for the upkeep of Nigerians?