Some Nigerians are stranded in China, and that is unacceptable! But without prejudging the circumstances and what the Nigerian Embassy and Diplomats could have done to eliminate, mitigate or ameliorate the conditions as reported, it must be stated here and now that no Nigerian deserves to feel alone, neglected or abandoned, wherever such Nigerian may reside!

 

Some of these Nigerians allegedly committed some visa or immigrations infractions in China, and as a result, these Nigerians are said to have been detained for extended periods of time, without trial or contact with the outside world, as they are denied visits and legal defense. The stranded Nigerians assert that the Nigerian Embassy and diplomats have not intervened on their behalf and that, surely, is not a good thing!  

 

It is in actuality irrelevant whether such Nigerians are model citizens or not. A Nigerian is entitled to due process and the benefits of the rule of law, regardless of whether such Nigerian is in Nigeria, America, Europe or China in Asia; below is an e-mail forwarded to me by Mallam Habu Fika Dauda, the Publisher/Webmaster of www.amanonline.com as he sought to bring the plight of these Nigerians in China to light, in effort to push the hands of those whose responsibility it must be to resolve the seeming endless tales of woe that has befallen these Nigerians, as contained in their self-explanatory e-mail below.

 

Here now are the contents of the Save Our Souls e-mail as forwarded, UNEDITED:

 

Sir, I hereby submit to you the letter that we sent to the NIGERIA EMBASSY in China.This is as a result of constant embarrasements we have encountered as a result of visa prohibition. The EMBASSY has so far acted as a  "tootless bulldog" on this issue.It seems that they don"t want to do anything about it. They watch and see their citizens harrassed and assaulted.

 

It is getting too much!!!

This is the letter. Please take time and read the letter. The lives of Nigerians in China is generally threathened by visa prohibition by the Chinese government nigerians  in jilin province of china 22 september 2005 . the ambassador,

nigeria embassy, beijing , china sir,

      

 please come to our rescue

 

i wish you a good day. i humbly want to inform you about the detention of 3 nigerians in this province capital called changchun ,in the north eastern part of china. they are detained because of minor immigration related cases which is as follows: the first is one mr.nnogu ikechukwu micheal was detained since may 2005.

till date !­..we have tried our best to reach out to him but this have failed.

nobody is allowed to see him.for over 4 months now,we have  appealed to the nigeria embassy in beijing to intervene and see to his repatriation back to nigeria ,but nothing has happened.

 

this man is not a criminal.his only case is that he has an expired visa.

another most recent case is that of mr. nwosu innocent age 40years old.he was arrested on the 15th of september 2005 .

 

he opened a saloon with a chinese woman a day before this incident.he was arrested because he has no licence to do business and his visa is expired. his chinese counterpart is still at large and this is very suspicious because the woman assured him that once he can open a joint partnership his visa can be fixed and this will bring chances for other nigerians who are keen to have any kind of joint partnership in the city. we suspect that the woman set him up so that she can take over the business. the third nigerian is unknown to us and we suspect that he might have come in from another city.

 

since last week!­!­.the local chinese newspaper here has been reporting this incident on the front page on daily bases.. we feel very unsafe and ashamed to see our own brothers in jail. these nigerians are neither criminals, drug pushers nor dupes.

they are just hard working nigerians who are victims of visa prohibition of the chinese government on the nigerian passport.  all of us here in the northern part of china working as full time or part time english teachers.

 

                      issues at stake

 

1 ---- we appeal that the embassy should determine the identity of the third nigerian in detention and a possible way of helping them back home.

2-----sir,we humbly beg you to use your power as our ambassador and our leader in china to intervene in these cases and see to the repatriation of these nigerians back to their loved ones in nigerian.

 

their cases are immigration cases which in chinese law calls for eventual repatriation to country of origin.  it will be very disastrous and shameful to our country!1s intergrity if they are allowed to waste away or die in detention because they have no one to speak for them. how can we watch and see our brothers die for minor pardonable cases?

 

 

visa prohibition on nigerians

 

 

sir,with regards to the above,it will be attributed that the problems facing nigerians in china today is because of the visa prohibition on nigerians. a lot of rumours have circulated on this issue. even,the embassy have not given us a clear reason why our visas are not extended like others.

 

last year,we were at the nigeria embassy and discussed this with mr usman,the consular.he did not give us a good clarification..  he only told us that the chinese government has denied that there is a visa prohibition on nigerians.  he said that it is not official.

 

well!­..every nigerian knows that there is a visa restriction on the nigeria passport.

the chinese knows and other foreigners knows too .it is very shameful.. and disgraceful.

 

there was a rumour that it is because we recognised taiwan ,but one wonders why taiwan !1s main ally,the usa is not given the same treatment.

 

also....there was another rumour that it is is because of the crimes committed by some nigerians here but it is clear that this is not so because nigerians are not the only ones commiting crimes in china.

 

most sophiscated crimes here are commited by citizens from the western countries.

there is a rumour which seems to be that the restriction is because nigeria is classified as one of the !0terrorist!1 countries.this is the only"rumour" that sounds real.  the rumour has it that the 6 countries blacklisted  by the chinese government are as follows : nigeria,pakistan,iraq,iran,sri lanka and turkey.

 

one wonders why nigeria is should be among the list of these countries known for terrorist attacks and suicide bombings.

we are not known for these !!!!!

 

today,many nigerians in china are scared to death of being recognised as being from niriliyaa [ nigeria ].

 

many prefer to claim other nationalities  other than nigeria .  the most common is usa , south africa , jamaica , ghana and bahamas .

when we came here 3 years ago,i was very proud of my nationality,but today i take deep breath before i can introduce myself as a nigerian.  sir,please!­ we humbly beg and cry unto you to look into these problems that are facing us in this country.

 

we are aware that china is presently  being awarded contracts that runs into billions of dollars in nigeria ,like the telecomunication,oil and satellite contracts.

there are thousands of chinese living and doing business in nigeria .

they are not facing discrimination.the number of chinese in nigeria surpass the number of nigerians in china by ratio 10 to 1. if they are gaining much in nigeria why can!1t our government demand them to respect us in their country and extend our visas !!

 

today,all over china,many nigerians are detained and wasting away because of expired visas and hundreds of others are also living in fear and in the danger of being detained because of the same issue.

 

china is a very good country and the people are nice.i believe that our visa restriction is something that our country can resolve with them diplomaticaly.

may god bless you as you try your best to do your job !!!

 

long live the federal republic of nigeria !!!

 

yours faithfully,

 

osita chiagorom [ositac@yahoo.com],

 and  richard offo [richard_offo@yahoo.com]