The Nigerian Citizens Association South Africa on Saturday warned against the planned protest by the Nigerian Union South Africa at the Nigerian consulate on Africa Day.
NICASA’s organizing secretary, Comrade Tony Ewulonu Duke gave the warning in a press release as stated below;
The Nigerian Citizens Association South Africa wishes to bring to the attention of Nigerian public, a planned protest organized against the Nigerian Consulate by a few disgruntled individuals. The protest is ill motivated, a personal attack against the Consul General for his stern refusal to accede to their demand to be recognized. They had waited for the new Consul General and hoped that with him the new status quo will change. To their great dismay and frustration they were disappointingly asked to join NICASA to form a great team. As an apex umbrella association, the NICASA door is still open to accommodate all Nigerians irrespective of their differences.
We are perturbed that someone or groups of persons could go to the length of character assassination of witch hunting our honest and hard working Consul General His Excellency Abdukmalik Ahmed.
It is even shocking that the allegations of extortion peddled by this elements are unfounded, lies and without an iota of credibility in it.
The Consul General has not asked any Nigerian to pay a dime into his personal pocket or account. Therefore he has not extorted any Nigerian as mischievously and erroneously peddled by this elements.
The federal government of Nigerian are very much aware of the R120 being charged by the consulate as service charge and the same amount get paid into the government account. The R2000 fee for lost passport is a deterrent fee necessitated by the misuse and unscrupulous activities of some Nigerians. This fee also get paid to a designated government account. NICASA is still in discussions with the Consul General on the deterrent fee with a hope for a review.
NICASA continue to engage with the Consulate to get a better deal in our negotiations around consular services with their fees. Where we see arbitrary and unjustified increases on service fees we approach the consulate for answer. In the case of the above increase we had investigated it and found that they are not criminal or isolated cases where our Consul General had acted solo but an approved practice in all the embassies and Consulates around the world. Infact the fee for South Africa is the lowest in all Nigerian foreign missions.
In view of the above, we advise Nigerians not to allow themselves be hoodwinked and pushed into disorderliness and mischief. We understand the frustration of the conveners of the protest and their mindset. If truth be told, this same elements were all direct beneficiaries in the Consulate and OIS through corrupt practices that fleeced Nigerians. We all know the story.
We ask Nigerians to distance themselves from the planned protest and be law abiding and to remain steadfast in their pursuit of peace and harmony within our community.