Nigerian High Commission Closes Embassy in Canada
The Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa, Canada, has closed down its embassy indefinitely. This is according to the statement posted on the its website which revealed that the decision of indefinite closure was taken following the abuse of a system put in place to attend to a limited number of persons due to COVID-19 protocols and help Nigerians who had compelling passport renewal requests.
The statement disclosed that some citizens decided to abuse the system by showing up at the chancery without an appointment and still insist on being attended to even on days when the Commission was not open to the public. The statement further explained that the situation deteriorated on Friday, August 14 when a group showed up at the Commission and did not let the embassy staff attend to those who had appointments.
“They went as far as holding a female staff member who went to address them, hostage, for over twenty minutes and subjected her to physical abuse. This kind of conduct is considered unnecessarily hostile and totally unacceptable and no embassy would tolerate conduct that puts the lives of its staff members at risk,” the statement added.
The Nigerian High Commission however acknowledged that they are experiencing the problem of limited passport booklets in the country due to the closure of the airspace.
Speaking on Nigerians whose work or study permits have expired since March 2020, and who do not have a valid passport, the Nigerian High Commission already gave a grace period that lasts until December 31st. “By this time, we expect to have resolved some of the challenging issues that COVID-19 has created,” the statement added.