By Chinenye Festus:-
Nigerian High Commission in Canada has shut down its activities indefinitely.
This was contained in a statement found on the commission’s website which stated that the reason for the shutdown followed the abuse of a system it put in place to attend to a limited number of persons due to COVID-19 protocols.
“The High Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Canada wishes to inform Nigerian communities in Canada and the general public that the mission remains closed to the public,” it said.
“The special intervention arrangement whereby emergency cases were being handled on a discretionary basis is hereby suspended.” “Our citizens for some reason chose to abuse this system, they would show up at the chancery without an appointment and insist on being attended to even on days when we were not open to the public at all,” the commission, however, said.
“They went as far as holding a female staff member who went to address them, hostage, for over twenty minutes and subjected her to physical abuse,” the commission added.
“This kind of conduct is considered unnecessarily hostile and totally unacceptable and no embassy would tolerate conduct that puts the lives of its staff members at risk.”
It explained that the development got worse on Friday, August 14, when a group showed up at the High Commission and did not let the Embassy staff attend to those who had appointments, and this led to the halting of all activities in the commission till further notice.
The statement further explained that Nigerians whose work or study permits have expired since March 2020, and who do not have a valid passport, have a grace period that lasts until December 31st, according to the High Commission.
Nigerian High Commission disclosed that it is “considering ways to make our premises more secure and less susceptible to unruly behaviour and violent mob action, it also gave the assurance that they are working tirelessly to resolve some of the challenging issues that COVID-19 has created, by the time the embassy resumes its activities ” the statement added.