Nigerian community in Chad Republic are not having it good at present as they lament serious victimisation and hostility from the host community who labels them as members of Boko Haram insurgency.
It was learnt that over 40 innocent Nigerians had been arrested and docked by the Chadian police for alleged involvement in Boko Haram activities while the Nigeria Embassy in Chad had failed to take any step to resolve the matter.
The Vice President of the Nigerian community in Chad, Alhaji Adeyemi Yusuf told our correspondent that more than 22 innocent Nigerians were arrested while trading in their shops in Ndjamena, the capital city of Chad in the last two months.
Adeyemi who is a skin trader in Chad since 1993 said that the victimisation and hostility against foreigners, mostly Nigerians in Chad had grown beyond control, adding that many innocent Nigerians are feeling back home to save their lives.
Investigation revealed that any Nigerian who is on transit to other parts of Africa, such as Sudan and Mali were not spared by the Chadian police. “I can count up to 15 Nigerians who are in the same cell with me. They are on transit to Sudan but the Chadian police put them in cell,” one of the victims, who simply identified himself as Kareem said.
He told our correspondent that he was in the cell for two months before he could get bail after he had paid 1 million cfa to the police.
“We are not members of Boko Haram but any time the Chadian police set their eyes on us, we are potential prey to them. They pounce on us,” he said.
Another victim who spoke via telephone to our correspondent, Mrs. Dorcas Ekanem said that she spent two months and 12 days in police cell without any crime.
She stated that the police came to arrest her in her shop and despite that she presented the Nigeria Consulate Card, the law enforcement agent took her away.
“I got out of the cell due to the intervention of the Local Government in that area because most of the public officers there are my customers,” she said.
The Nigerian community however complained that despite all the challenges that they were passing through, the Nigeria Embassy had been indifferent to their plight.
As the vice president put it, “We have been to the Nigeria Embassy to meet with the Head of the Consulate but he had been evasive. The officials at the commission would only tell us to go and solve our problems by ourselves.”