By Muhaimin Olowoporoku
Nigeria’s High Commission in Ottawa, Canada has shut its doors to the public and suspended consular services until further notice.
In a statement on its website, the High Commission said it was forced to close to the public after Nigerian citizens conducted themselves in an unruly manner at the commission’s office.
The statement agreed that a number of citizens have compelling passport renewal requests which it was ready to attend to in a responsible manner.
Attending to such categories of citizens was made strictly by appointment on designated days of the week.
This it said enabled the High Commission to admit a limited number of people into the chancery at a time and observe the laid down rules of physical and social distancing.
However, some other citizens abused the privilege showing up at the chancery without an appointment and insisting on being attended to, even on days when they were not open to the public at all.
(ALSO READ: Obasanjo: I want to live above 100 years)
The commission said such people behave in a most unruly manner, disturbing the peace and banging windows, etc. forcing them to cease operation.
It cited an incident last Friday 14 August, when a group of Nigerians showed up at the high commission and refused to allow the embassy staff to attend to those who had appointments.
The group insisted the embassy must attend to everyone who showed up.
“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.”
The commission in the statement eventually explained that they would be exploring ways of making their premises more secure and less susceptible to unruly behaviour and violent mob action.
*Read the full statement here: Nigerian High Commission closes to the public