Nigerians, China disagree over Guangzhou accommodation for 207, eviction

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama

More Nigerians have been evicted from their apartments in Guangzhou as racial discrimination swelled against Africans in the capital of Guangdong Province, China.

A businessman, Chukwudi Asogwa, told our correspondent on Thursday that he was evicted from his Baiyun district apartment on Wednesday, adding that he complained to the police, but no action had been taken against the landlord.

He confirmed that some Nigerians were provided hotel rooms by the Chinese government, noting that those seeking private apartments had yet to secure them.

Asogwa, who has lived in Guangzhou for three years said, “We are tired of living in Guangzhou, we want to come back home. I am staying in a hotel because my landlord asked me to move out for no reason. I complained to the police, but no action had been taken.

“The police have spoken with my landlord, but they didn’t tell me why the man evicted me. I have dispatched my personal effects to Nigeria, I’m merely waiting for the government to evacuate us.”

Some Nigerians also sent a video of a woman with two children who were staying on the streets.

In the footage, the unidentified woman was feeding her infant daughter as the older second child slept in a baby walker. She was allegedly evicted from her apartment.

But the Chinese authorities said they had provided free hotel accommodation  for 207 Nigerians in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, China.

The Press Secretary, Embassy of China in Nigeria, Mr Sun Saixiong, disclosed this to our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday.

The Civil Liberties Organisation had said 300 Nigerians stranded in Guangzhou were facing starvation and homelessness on account of their alleged treatment by the Chinese authorities.

But Saixiong said, “According to the Guangzhou Foreign Affairs Office, 207 Nigerians who claim they have no place to live have been checked into hotels by the local government. Those who are facing economic difficulties will receive deductions or exemptions for the room rates and food charges.”

A beneficiary, simply identified as Mr Uzowuru, informed our correspondent in a WhatsApp voice note that he had been given a room.

But another Nigerian, Chinonso Nnadum, said he was not aware of the free accommodation being offered by the Chinese, adding that many Nigerians were still being illegally evicted from their homes.

Meanwhile, the Embassy of China in Nigeria has reacted to reports that some lawyers were seeking $200bn in damages from China over the coronavirus pandemic which originated from Wuhan, Hubei Province.

The Mission in a statement said China was also a victim of the pandemic and not a perpetrator, stressing that the international community should rather stand in solidarity and work together to curb the disease.

The Punch


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