6th March, 2012
The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has summoned Mr. Gbenga Ashiru, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appear before it today to clarify Nigeria’s relationship with African countries.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that the Committee was disturbed by the diplomatic row brewing between Nigeria and other African countries.
She said the committee was worried by the series of negative attacks on Nigerians and its embassies, especially in Africa.
The legislator said the recent deportation of 125 Nigerians by South Africa was the height of insult and indignation Nigerians would be subjected to in the continent.
She said some months ago, the Nigerian High Commission was attacked in South Africa for no just reason and wondered why such action should be happening to Nigeria.
Elendu-Ukeje also recalled the recent detention of some Nigerians in Togo by the Togolese authorities without explanation to the Nigerian Government.
“We are indeed worried about all these indignation and scorn Nigerians are subjected to all over the world, especially by sister African nations, which 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,” she said.
Elendu-Ukeje said it was high time the country put its act together and take its rightful position in Africa, which could only be done with Nigeria redefining its relationship with some African countries.
“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 country to continue unabated,” she said.
NAN reports that 125 Nigerians were deported from South Africa on Friday over the possession of irregular Yellow fever vaccination cards.
Among those deported were 75 passengers aboard South African Airways and 50 Arik Air passengers.