The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Lome, Togo has reacted further to trending videos on the social media on the maltreatment of some Nigerians in transit from the United States, aboard Ethiopian Airlines through Lome to Nigeria. The Ambassador, His Excellency Debo Adesina and his officials were at the airport and took up the matter until it was resolved.
All the passengers were evacuated on two flights, following the Embassy’s intervention and with the cooperation of Togolese authorities.
The Embassy has made it known to the host authorities that the manhandling of Nigerian travelers is totally unacceptable and not in accordance with International Best Practices. However, through concerted efforts by the Mission in its engagement with relevant host officials, this is being addressed. Meanwhile, the Embassy has registered with the host authorities, its displeasure over this unfortunate incident.
The Embassy said in a statement that it would continue to work towards preventing a recurrence of such treatment of Nigerians.
Trouble started when Nigerians, who were traveling on Ethiopian Airlines from the US to Lagos got to Lome. They were shocked when they were informed that their connecting flight was full and that they could not continue the trip.
Watch the video here
The protest by some of them was met with maltreatment by Togolese security officials. Worse still, they handcuffed and seized the telephones of the protesting Nigerians.
Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, who is far away in Istanbul, Turkey as part of the delegation of President Muhammadu Buhari to the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit being hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, swung into action. He contacted Adesina in Togo.
“The Ambassador Debo Adesina immediately rushed to the airport when I called him and oversaw the evacuation of everyone back to Nigeria,” the Minister reacted in an email to globalpatriotnews.
In Nigeria, Richard Akinnola said: “Kudos to Debo Adesina, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Togo. Following the viral videos of how the Ethiopian airline maltreated some Nigerian passengers in Togo, he, in conjunction with our foreign affairs minister, worked tirelessly to deal with the situation by arranging two flights to evacuate the stranded Nigerian passengers home. Well done, Debo.”