Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has on Monday criticized the statement by Ravi Naik, a former Indian Goa Chief Minister that Nigerians be barred from entering India, describing it as “condescending and unacceptable’’.
In a statement released on Monday, Dabiri-Erewa said the call by Naik for a ban by India’s Central Government on Nigerians from entering the country was rather unfortunate. Noting that though the statement of Naik was personal to him and did not represent the Indian Government position; she also said that such comment was demeaning and condemn-able of a former high-ranking government official. She said:
“As Nigerians, we respect humanity and will do not descend so low to use derogatory words even for Indians in Nigeria who are involved in illegal activities. Rather, we will allow the law to take its course.”
Calling on Nigerians in diaspora not to tolerate any condescending comments on her nationals, Mrs. Erewa however, urged them to be law abiding, as any one found guilty of breaking the laws of the host country would have to face the consequences, adding that “respect begets respect’’.
Ravi Naik, a former Indian Minister and senior Congress leader had last week called on the central government to bar Nigerian immigrants from entering India while Nigerian students staying illegally in the country be screened for documents and deported immediately. Referring to Nigerians as ‘negros’, the former Goa Home Minister said they have been causing “problems” in Goa as well as in other cities. He also added that those there to study should be watched strictly.
NAN reported that Mr Kiran Kandolkar, Goa spokesman in India, had demanded an apology from Naik over the controversial statement. “Ravi Naik should tender an apology. The statements made by Naik are insulting and uncalled for,” he said.
India was one of the countries President Muhammadu Buhari had visited since he came to power on May 29, 2015. During his trip to India, the Nigerian leader had met with India’s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and other top government officials and both leaders had pledged to strengthen bilateral relations between them.