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Coronavirus: Reps vote against move to evacuate Nigerians from China

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THE House of Representatives has voted against a motion seeking that Nigerians in China be evacuated, amidst the outbreak of Coronavirus which has since killed over 300 people.

According to reports, the motion sponsored by Ben Kalu of Bende federal constituency, Abia state was rejected due to the title: “Urgent need to evacuate and quarantine Nigerians living in China.”

In a video making rounds on social media, Kalu’s motion was shut down by members, denying the claim that Nigerians are stranded in China.

However, it was gathered that Nicholas Ossai, (PDP, Delta) moved a point of order seeking for the motion to be gazetted but the Deputy Leader of the House, Peter Akpatason (APC, Edo) and cosponsor of the motion pleaded for the motion to be stepped down.

Recall that The ICIR earlier reported how some Nigerians in China accused the Nigerian government of abandoning them in China, the epicenter of the deadly coronavirus.

Some Nigerian students in China had reported that other countries were providing support for their own in the embattled country but in their case, no help was being offered.

Check by The ICIR also showed that the official website of the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing, China was last updated around 2013 despite the threat of Coronavirus.

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Less than 24 hours after the report, the Nigerian government released a memo advising Nigerians in China to stay vigilant and take precautionary measures. But it remains uncertain if the students have received support.

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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