Deportation: Reps summon Minister of Foreign Affairs

The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has summoned Olugbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appear before it to clarify Nigeria’s relationship with other African countries.

Mr. Ashiru is to appear before the committee on Tuesday.

The Chairman of the Committee, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, said this in Abuja on Friday.

Ms. Elendu-Ukeje said that the committee is disturbed by the diplomatic row brewing between Nigeria and other African countries.

Apparently referring to the latest deportation of six Nigerians by the Egyptian authorities on Tuesday, the lawmaker said it is the height of “insult to Nigerians.”

Recently, six Nigerians with valid visas were denied entry into Cairo by the Egyptian authorities without any genuine reason.

One of the victims, Sekinat Abiola, said they were denied entry and forced to return via Ethiopian airline that transported them.

Ms. Abiola and other victims claimed that they were granted a valid three-month visa at the Egyptian Embassy both in Lagos and Abuja but intended to stay for only two weeks for their respective businesses.

She said they left Nigeria on Sunday and the deportees were kept in a room till Tuesday “without food, water or bed to sleep on. This is the second time they are doing this to us without Nigerian government doing anything”.

Ms. Elendu- Ukeje noted that the trend is becoming bothersome.

“We are indeed worried about all these indignation and scorn Nigerians are subjected to all over the world especially by sister African nations.

“This calls for a review of our relationship with these countries.

“So we have invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs to a meeting on Tuesday to come and explain to us our relationship with these countries and why Nigerians are being subjected to ridicule all over the world.” He said.

Ms. Elendu-Ukeje said it is time for the country to take its rightful position in Africa, which can only be done with redefining its relationship with these African nations.

“The outcome of the meeting will shape our next line of action as a parliament in our foreign policy direction and relationship with these countries.

“We cannot allow these insults on our citizens and the country to continue unabated,” she said.

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