GC: Have you received my email informing the Embassy of yesterday’s unfortunate and disturbing incident?
NVA: Yes I have received your email and I am grateful that you brought the incident to our notice. The reaction of the Chief Minister of Goa is unfortunate especially the order to deport the Nigerians. It is important for the Chief Minister to first understand what actually transpired, starting that led to the death of a Nigerian. The more imperative question is whether the dead Nigerian get justice. Our sources inform us that the Nigerian killed had nothing to do with any illegal activity. Two Nigerians were attacked, one ran away and unfortunately one died, is it not important for the people of Goa and Nigeria too to know what led to his death.
GC: What are your comments on the CM’s decision to deport Nigerians who have no valid visas?
NVA: It is unfortunate that it is the Nigerians that are being portrayed in a negative light. We have had several complaints about the kind of unruly treatment that the locals in Goa have been meting out to Nigerians. In Nigeria there are over 1 million Indians residing. We ensure that every Indian is safe and secured.
We also expect that Nigerians studying or tourists in India and Goa to feel the safe and secure. Every country has its law and any unlawful activity must be condemned. However, the information we are getting indicate that Nigerians in Goa were being deliberately targeted by the locals and even law enforcement personnel. The death of a fellow Nigerian was not acceptable to some of the Nigerians, therefore they reacted out of frustration. I am not saying that the reaction of the other Nigerian mob is justified. But what value does your CM put to the life of the dead Nigerian.
GC: Nigerians however have been allegedly involved in drug and prostitution trade?
NVA: The Nigerian that was killed, our information revealed that he was not involved in any illegal activity, does it justify him being killed. Nigerians are being deliberately targeted in Goa by the locals. If at all there are any allegations of unlawful activities, should not the law take it course. Or is it up to the people in Goa to take law into their own hands.
GC: Are you trying to justify the mob rampage?
NVA: Absolutely not. But is your CM justifying the incident of the murder of Nigerian by his order of rounding up the Nigerians and deporting them instead ensuring justice to the Nigerian murdered, is not that the most important aspect of what led to the mob reaction.
GC: Do you have a message for the Chief Minister and people of Goa post the incident?
NVA: We have about 80,000 Nigerians living in different parts of India, some studying and some in trade just like the Indians in Nigeria. We ensure that Indians living in Nigeria are safe and secured. In India now in particular Goa we want our people the Nigerians to be treated fairly, we want them to feel safe and secure. We also hope that the CM conducts an investigation into the murder of a Nigerian, which is a serious matter to us and brand all Nigerians in a negative light.