THE Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has denied claims that the Nigerian Embassy in Switzerland called police on some Nigerians who were at the embassy to collect their passports.
NIDCOM in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Abdurrahman Balogun, yesterday, said the embassy, instead invited officials of the Embassy Protection Unit to bring order to the situation which was already turning rowdy.
“The mission did not call the police as erroneously stated in the video but invited the Embassy Protection Unit to bring calm and decorum back to the hall.
“The men of the Embassy Protection Unit addressed them and those on appointment as well as those who had made their online payments were attended to while others were advised to follow the due process, with an assurance that everyone will be attended to as long as the rules were followed,” the statement read in part.
Explaining the circumstances that led to commotion at the embassy, Balogun dismissed erroneous insinuations being made from the viral video, noting that 64 Nigerians besieged the mission on that day, whereas the embassy could only attend to a maximum of 20 persons at a time in line with the COVID-19 protocols.
Although a voice could be heard in the viral video alleging that the Swiss police were called to arrest the Nigerians who were at the embassy to collect their passports, NIDCOM insists no Nigerian was arrested.
Putting the record straight, the embassy said, “In view of the above video, it is imperative to state the facts. In line with COVID-19 protocols, the embassy in Bern, Switzerland, is only allowed to attend to 10 applicants; however, the mission made it possible to attend to a maximum of 20 daily, spacing out the appointments.
But on this day, 64 Nigerians besieged the Nigerian mission in Bern. only 10 of them were on the scheduled appointments while 54 of them had no appointment for that day and had not made the mandatory online payment. The majority of the applicants came from Italy and Spain with no appointment and without any online payment.”
He emphasised that while the Nigerian Ambassador, Baba Madagu was addressing them; they barged in through the front door and overcrowded a hall that was meant to receive only 10 people at a time.
The embassy called on Nigerians abroad to be good ambassadors of the country wherever they are and obey laws put in place.