Home / News / Africa / Ill-treatment of Nigerians at Lome, Togo Airport: Foreign Affairs Minister, Onyeama, intervenes from Turkey

Ill-treatment of Nigerians at Lome, Togo Airport: Foreign Affairs Minister, Onyeama, intervenes from Turkey

Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister
Faure Gnassingbé Eyadéma, President of Togo
An Ethiopian Airlines jet

The near diplomatic crisis that threatened to erupt between Nigeria and Togo over the ill-treatment of some Nigerian travelers at the Lome Airport yesterday, Saturday, December 18, 2021, has been resolved through the intervention of Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama.

Onyeama, 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 of the Republic of Turkey, responded swiftly to a GPNews story and email concerning the plight of the stranded Nigerians.

He replied to an email almost instantaneously thus:

“Looking into it, urgently. Have contacted our Ambassador.” He, indeed, contacted the Nigerian Ambassador to Togo, Mr. Debo Adesina, and before long a chartered flight was arranged to airlift some of the stranded travelers to Lagos.

H.E Onyeama, said in another mail sent to thank him for his swift response, that “The Ambassador Debo Adesina immediately rushed to the airport when I called him and oversaw the evacuation of everyone back to Nigeria. Thank you very much for alerting me. God bless.”

The Nigerians, who were traveling on Ethiopian Airlines from the United States of America (US) to Lagos got to Lome and were told, to their chagrin, that their connecting flight was full and that they could not continue the trip.

When some of them tried to protest, they were manhandled, with some handcuffed and rough handled by Togolese security personnel and airline staff.

The telephones of all the passengers were ordered seized and it seemed as though the humiliation and shabby treatment of the Nigerian nationals would go unanswered before the timely intervention of the Foreign Affairs Minister and other top Nigerian government officials.

Meanwhile, as at press time, the flight that was hastily arranged had since landed at the Murtala Muhammed Airport and the passengers had been united with their family members and loved ones.

What is not yet clear, however, is whether the affected Togolese officials and Ethiopian Airlines staff would be made to answer further for their humiliation and ill-treatment of the Nigerian travelers.

Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa confirmed to GPNews that the Nigerian Ambassador to Togo, H.E Debo Adesina, a former top journalist, “is already investigating the matter.”

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