Abuja – Mrs Abike ab-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, has on Monday criticised the statement by Ravi Naik, a former Indian Goa Chief Minister on Nigerians, describing it as “condescending and unacceptable’’. In a statement on Monday by Abdurrahman Balogun, Special Assistant on Media to Dabiri-Erewa, she said the call by Naik for a ban by India’s Central Government on Nigerians from entering the country was rather unfortunate. She said reference by Naik to Nigerians as the “pejorative Negroes’’, caused problems in Goa and other parts of India. Naik has said “They create problems everywhere; we do not want Nigerian tourists.
“Nigerians should be asked to leave India, we don’t want Nigerian tourists. The Government of India should ban Nigerians from entering India’’.
The SSA said that though the statement of Naik was personal to him and did not represent the Indian Government position; such comment was demeaning and condemnable of a former high-ranking government official.
“As Nigerians, we respect humanity and will do not descend so low to use derogatory words even for Indians in Nigeria who are involved in illegal activities.
“Rather, we will allow the law to take its course, “ she said. She, however, reiterated her calls on Nigerians in the Diaspora, to be law abiding, adding that, any Nigerian found guilty of breaking the laws of the host country would have to face the consequences.
Dabiri-Erewa, however, stressed that Nigeria would not tolerate any condescending comments on her nationals, adding that “respect begets respect’’.
NAN also reports that Mr Kiran Kandolkar, Goa spokesman in India, had demanded an apology from Naik over the controversial statement. “Ravi Naik should tender an apology.
The statements made by Naik are insulting and uncalled for, “ he had said.
India was one of the countries which President Muhammadu Buhari had visited since he came to power on May 29, 2015. During the trip, the Nigerian leader had met with the India`s Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi and other top government officials. Both leaders had pledged to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
President Buhari also met with the Nigerian community in India and assured them of his government’s commitment to their well-being.