A Nigerian based in China, Nnamdi Onwuka, has faulted the claims of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that there are only 16 Nige
A Nigerian based in China, Nnamdi Onwuka, has faulted the claims of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, that there are only 16 Nigerians in Wuhan, the place where the coronavirus originated in China, saying “there are no fewer than 50 Nigerians in that city.”
Onwuka in an e-mail sent to The PUNCH on Sunday, entitled, ‘China coronavirus: Lai Mohammed lied.”
The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, had told journalists on Friday that when the Federal Government got in touch with the affected victims of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, the 16 Nigerians did not show interest in returning to the country.
“I know we have Nigerians in Wuhan; our embassy in China has confirmed that we have about 16 Nigerians in Wuhan and they are in touch with them. They have, however, not indicated their interest to come home. They will, however, contact our embassy if they like to come home,” the minister had said.
But Onwuka, in his email said, “It is not true that there are only 16 Nigerians in Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus in China. In fact, there are no fewer than 50 Nigerians in that city. This goes to show that the minister and the Chinese Embassy in the afflicted city do not know how many Nigerian citizens are trapped in the city. It is not true that the people said they don’t want to be evacuated, that they are okay in the virus inflicted-city.
“To the contrary, many of them are ready to be evacuated even if the Federal Government wants them to pay the cost of transporting them home later. It is not true that they are okay. As I am writing this, Nigerians in Dispora (East China) are making contingency arrangements, raising money from members to source daily needs, including mats and disinfectants to send to them in Wuhan.”
He added, “Other nations are evacuating their people from the city; and it is only through a diplomatic channel that any foreigner can leave Wuhan now. If they can’t evacuate them, at least they should make genuine efforts to provide their needs given the precarious situation in that city now owing to the complete lock down. Nigerians in Wuhan have sent out their heart-felt message to the Nigerian government to take necessary action to either evacuate them to help sourcing their needs given that the primary duty of the Embassy in Beijing is to attend to the welfare of every single Nigerian in China.”