Monday, 08 March, 2021

Maltreatment of Nigerians in China: House Ad Hoc Committee to Submit Report Next Week


Human rights violations and abuses, against international conventions and protocols – Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub

Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub during the House Ad hoc Committee Meeting at National Assembly on Wednesday 27th May, 2020

BY OBUTE JAMES

The House of Representatives Committee ad hoc commmittee set up to investigate the alleged matreatment of Nigerians living in China has completed its work and set to submit its report to the entire House next week.

The members of the Joint Committee headed by Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub after series of meetings through virtual conferencing, met physically on Wedneday to deliberate and ratify the Interim Report.

The House joint Committee investigating the alleged right abuses in China consists of House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Right, Inter Parliamentary and Diaspora.

Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub who chairs the Joint Committee is also the Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He represents Gombi/Hong Federal Constituency, Adamawa State.

Speaking during the deliberation on Wednesday, Yakub insisted that human rights violations and abuses are against international conventions and protocols.

Read his statement below:

1.Let me welcome you all from the Sallah break and express my humble gratitude to you all for acknowledging the importance of this Joint Committee,which is a clarion call to the service of our dear nation at an unusual time and circumstances.

2. After a series of meetings through virtual conferencing, we are physically meeting today to deliberate on the Interim Report prepared by the Secretariat of the Joint Committee, which constitutes the various Clerks of our collaborating Committees and their staff. By this meeting, we have the opportunity to tinker with the Interim Report, enhance it and own it for our onward presentation to the Honourable House when we resume plenary next week.

3. As we all are aware, the case before us is that of alleged rights violations and abuses, which are against international conventions and protocols entered among countries of the world through the instrumentality of the United Nations and other Charters that deal with the subject of human rights, freedom of movement,including that of goods and services among peoples of all regions and races of the world.

4. To bring this home, Nigeria and China have enjoyed diplomatic and other relations that predate our Independence and span various spheres of life. We have related on the basis of Government -to- Government, Parliament- to- Parliament, People-to- People and others. These relations have over the years birthed Foreign Direct Investments( FDI),State Visits, Technology Transfer, Cultural Exchanges and Provision of Services, including Capacity- building and Skill- enhancement Trainings,

5. At the level of the continent, Nigeria( as part of Africa and indeed the West African Sub- region) shares the membership of many international groups, Organisations and Associations with China. One of the groups is Forum of China and Africa Cooperation ( FOCAC), Afroasian Cooperation and many others through which the both countries have enjoyed Cooperation, Friendship, Collaboration and Progress.

6. It is, therefore, disturbing that very negative news materials, especially, on Social Media, in the very recent past have continued to emanate from a country with which we enjoy all of what I have mentioned above. This is not, however, an attempt to validate or accord the status of truth to all that we saw or continue to see on Social Media in relation to the treatment meted out on Nigerians visiting or living in China, but to use these materials as a basis to evaluate the tension that has resulted in the agitation for governmental action on the issue.

This is what we are here to discuss today. And as expected,the Interim Report before us has presented us with some form of direction on the issues at hand.

7. Chairmen of Committees, Honourable colleagues, I invite you all to consider objectively the issue that we have at hand, especially, with a view to fashioning a way forward in a matter that requires delicate attention and handling in order not to offend articles on Conventions and Protocols for the relationship of countries and peoples in the commity of nations. For us,our attention should be focused on what we can from this Committee find that can provide a veritable basis to, as a Parliament engage the Parliament of China or advise our nation’s Executive on the next line of action.

8. I wish us happy deliberations.

Shortly, after the meeting (closed door session) Yakub told journalists that details of the report will not be made public until it is laid before the House.

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