By Uche Mbah
The Nigerian government has said that the Nigerian Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, has not been closed down by the Congolese Government as depicted in a recent viral video.
Ferdinard Nwonye, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told news Agency of Nigeria that the issue involves the place where diplomats reside.
“The Nigerian Embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo was not shut down. There was a dispute on one of the properties of the mission where officials were residing. When we reported the matter to the Congolese government, the country authorities intervened immediately and the property was handed back to the Nigerian mission,” he reportedly said.
“The mission bought the property but is still in the process of updating the documents, which are still under Zaire, former name of the country. The Head of Mission has written to the Permanent Secretary and we are on top of the situation. I can also confirm that activities were not disrupted in our embassy in Congo.”
A video surfaced Thursday showing the DRC security operatives ejecting Nigerian Ambassador to Congo, Ibim Charles, and putting the building under lock and key. The Congolese Government cared little about the diplomatic relations between the two countries, thereby fueling fears that African countries are beginning to look down on Nigeria which had hitherto been regarded as the African Big Brother.
The Ambassador resides in the high brow Kinshasa area of the Country.
In recent times, African Countries have become increasingly hostile to Nigeria, making the government to grumble in exasperation about the change in attitude. This has mostly come from subhuman treatments of Nigerians living in Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone-traditionally under the protective umbrella of Nigeria. But it appears things have changed in recent times.
Chairperson of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has been urging an end to such attacks, particularly Xenophobic attacks from South Africa.