Following an alleged video circulating on social media that Nigerians were arrested at Nigerian Embassy in Switzerland, the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), on Wednesday, denied the allegations, saying only 10 applicants are allowed to attend to in line with Covid 19 protocols.
The commission, who stated that 64 Nigerians besieged the Nigerian mission in Bern, which only 10 of them were on scheduled appointment, lamented that the video misrepresented the true scenario.
In a statement by Head, Media and Public Relations Unit of NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, and made available to newsmen in Abuja, the commission said Nigerian mission in Switzerland never invited police to arrest Nigerians who were at the Embassy in Switzerland to procure their passports, as erroneously stated, but invited Embassy Protection Unit to bring calm and decorum back to the hall.
The statement said after the 10 mandatory applicants in line with Covid-19 protocols, the Mission worked out a program that made it possible to attend to a maximum of 20 daily, spacing out the appointments.
But on that fateful day, according to the statement, 64 Nigerians besieged the Nigerian mission in Bern, it turned out that only 10 of them were on the scheduled appointment. So, 54 of them had no appointment for that day.
“That apart, they had not made the mandatory online payment. And the majority of the applicants came from Italy and Spain. Without any appointment whatsoever. And without any payments made online.
”While the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, Ambassador Baba Madugu was addressing them and appealing to them to respect the Covid-19 rules in place and also follow due process, they barged in through the front door and overcrowded a hall that was meant to receive only 10 people at a time, while Embassy Protection Unit invited to bring calm and decorum back to the hall.Those on appointment and those who had made their online payments were attended to, while others were advised to follow the due process, with an assurance that everyone will be attended to.as long as the rules were abided by
“The affected Nigerians left the hall peacefully, only to the surprise of Swiss officers of the Embassy Protection Unit and the mission, some of them recorded a video which definitely misrepresented the true scenario.” It explained.
NIDCOM, therefore, implored Nigerians abroad to be good ambassadors of the country wherever they are and obey laws put in place.