Consul-General His Excellency Abdulmalik Mike Ahmed released a statement on Nigerian Union’s planned protest at the Nigerian consulate in Johannesburg on the 25th of May 2021 stating their reasons which are stated below;
The attention of the Consulate-General of Nigeria, Johannesburg, South Africa has been drawn to a plan by a section of the Nigerian community in Gauteng province to stage a protest at the Mission’s premises over what the group referred to as “diplomatic extortion and poor consular services” on 25th May 2021.
It is observed that the planned protest is the peak of a series of actions taken by the group against the Mission, including a petition addressed to the ICPC by a member of the group, a petition addressed to the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, as well deliberate campaigns of falsehood published in a section of Nigerian newspapers, all to no avail.
The petitions and press campaigns are indeed reflective of a vicious witchhunt and the determination of the petitioners to distract and sabotage the Mission. It is therefore not surprising that they have failed in the bid to ridicule the mission. All the same, the mission has taken it in good fate and has re-dedicated itself to serve all Nigerians.
The issue of admin fees for all consular services has been approved by the government and not limited to passports alone. Also, the penalty for a lost passport instituted to check abuses and immigration violations is not peculiar to the mission in Johannesburg. it is on record that agents and their accomplices have always collected and pocketed these fees even before the current order aimed at streamlining same, for accountability.
Nonetheless, the mission is conscious of the antics of some elements among our community, in this regard, and has therefore commenced consultations with well-meaning Nigerians with a view to addressing some of the issues, within the limit of the mission’s capacity to do so.
Consequently, all Nigerians are advised to resist the invitation to gather at the precincts of the chancery for the planned demonstration as doing so, would amount to biting your nose to spite your face, an act capable of painting all Nigerians in bad light or dampening our collective reputation.
The mission is resolved to enhance service delivery, grant equal access to all Nigerians, and would not rest on its laurels. At the risk of blowing our trumpets, the mission, in the recent station among all NIS passport stations at home and abroad, especially at this period when the government is faced with the global shortage of passport booklets.
Nevertheless, the mission will continue to count on the support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians in tackling any observed lapses in service delivery including any illegal request for payment for express service by some tainted staff, manipulation, or interference in the schedule for applicant’s data capturing, and production, as the case may be. The mission has resolved to deal decisively with any official or agent caught in these acts. Members of the community, therefore, have a duty to report directly to the head of mission, any suspected acts of violations as indicated above.
While efforts are being intensified to carry all members of the community along in all our activities, acquaint and avail with all the communication channels provided by the mission. You are all therefore advised to go about your lawful businesses. The mission will not condone nor tolerate any acts of incitement or a breach of the peace. Above all, eschew all acts capable of tarnishing the image of our dear country before our hosts and the international community in general.