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That was a disgraceful criminal behaviour, Onyeama reacts to attacks on Nigerian Embassy in Indonesia

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GEOFFREY Onyema, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has described  some ‘Nigerian protesters’ in Indonesia who appeared in a viral video vandalising Nigerian Embassy in that country as hooligans, saying that the attack was a ‘disgraceful criminal behaviour.’

On Thursday, June 25 some Nigerians resident in Indonesia were captured in a video vandalizing the Nigerian embassy in the country, while protesting alleged discrimination and infringement of their rights by Indonesian immigration officials.

In the now-viral video clip, the protesters can be seen destroying properties on the premises of the embassy, while chanting: “Nigeria is not helping us in this country. We don’t have an Embassy. We no go ‘gree.”

It was gathered that their actions were triggered by the death of a 41-year-old yet-to-be identified Nigerian man, who fell from a nine-storey building while trying to escape from Indonesian immigration officers.

However, while reacting to the incident in a tweet, Onyeama said the protest by the aggrieved Nigerians as absolutely deplorable and disgraceful criminal behaviour,

“Absolutely deplorable and disgraceful criminal behaviour by Nigerian hooligans who without justification attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia today,” the tweet read in part.

The minister further disclosed that effort would be invested in finding the protesters so they can be punished.

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“Every effort will be made to identify them and see they are severely punished. Totally unacceptable behaviour,” he said.

However, the minister did not comment on the alleged discrimination against Nigerians in the South East Asia country.

In November 2019, Hakeem Balogun, Nigerian Ambassador to Indonesia disclosed that about 5,000 Nigerians live in Indonesia, emphasizing that the figure might be incorrect because most Nigerians in Indonesia are undocumented and, therefore, remain in hiding.

“Less than three per cent of the total known number live legally and are engaged in legitimate businesses in the country,” Balogun said.

In the same period, it was reported that about 407 Nigerians were serving prison sentences in Indonesia for several crimes including drug abuse, cybercrimes and immigration-related offences.

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

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