By Ben Agande
Abuja – House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs has summoned Mr. Gbenga Ashiru, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to appear before it tomorrow to explain the circumstances leading to the detention and deportation of some Nigerians by the Egyptian authorities.
Chairman of the Committee, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (PDP-Abia), who disclosed this, weekend, said the committee was disturbed by the shabby treatment meted to Nigerian citizens, especially by African countries.
According to her, the latest deportation of Nigerians by the Egyptian authorities was another height of insult and indignation to Nigerians.
It would be recalled that three Nigerians with valid visas were denied entry into Cairo by the Egyptian authorities without reason.
Elendu-Ukeje said: “We are indeed worried about all these indignation and scorn Nigerians are subjected to all over the world, especially by her 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 our relationship with these countries and why Nigerians are being subjected to ridicule all over the world.”
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 her relationship with African nations.
She said: “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.”
Recounting her ordeal, one of the victims, Sekinat Abiola, said they were denied entry and forced to return via Ethiopian airlines.
According to her, they were granted a valid three-month visa at the Egyptian Embassy, both in Lagos and Abuja, but intended to stay for only two weeks.
She said they left Nigeria on Sunday and were kept in a room till Tuesday “without food, water or bed to sleep.
“This is the second time they are doing this to us without the Nigeria government doing anything.”