Current Affairs

Nigerian Ambassador misunderstood Goa’s crackdown on illegal foreigners: CM

The Goa government is taking action only against Nigerians staying illegally without proper documents and the row with Nigerian high commissioner Ndubuisi Vitus Amaku is only a misunderstanding since he has not been briefed correctly about developments in the state, expressed Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

He held the Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) responsible for not stepping in to explain the government’s action against foreigners staying illegally in the state following last week’s murder of Nigerian national Obado Uzoma Simeon in Parra village. Amaku had criticised the Goan authorities over their plans to deport those living illegally in the state.

“It was the responsibility of the MEA to brief him properly, which has not been done,” Parrikar said. “We’ll deport all foreigners staying illegally in Goa, including Nigerians. It’s the right of the police to check documents and many Nigerians were let go after checking their documents. We also said the Nigerians booked for the Porvorim incident will be allowed to go back to their country and charges will be dropped against them. But they don’t have proper documents. Some don’t have a visa or even a passport.”
Parrikar said the matter had been unnecessarily blown into an international-relations row.

The CM said he was not informed beforehand about the arrival of a Nigerian diplomat, who had come to Goa to meet him, and the resulting misunderstanding blew the issue with the Nigerian high commission out of proportion. “The protocol wasn’t followed and I wasn’t even aware the diplomat was here to meet me,” Parrikar said.

The law is supreme and no one will be allowed to take it into their own hands, whether Nigerians or Indians, the CM said. “Property was damaged and a national highway was blocked [during protests against Simeon’s killing] and the Nigerians involved don’t even have proper documents,” he said. “What does the Nigerian embassy expect me to do?”

He said apart from the Nigerians, others involved in the blocking of the national highway at Porvorim on October 31 would also be booked “if they challenge the government”. “Those who blocked the national highway at 4pm had nothing to do with the Nigerian issue,” Parrikar said. “That issue was resolved at 1.30pm. We understand local sentiments and that’s why we haven’t named anyone in the FIR. But if they challenge us, we’ve enough footage to take action against those involved.”

The CM said the police had enough circumstantial evidence to charge those involved in the murder case that triggered the rioting on October 31.

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