Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama Tests Positive For COVID-19

A file photo of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has tested positive for COVID-19.

He disclosed this himself via Twitter on Sunday.

According to Onyeama, he tested positive after his fourth COVID-19 test on Saturday after he developed symptoms of a throat irritation.

He further stated that he is now heading for isolation in a health facility.

“Did my fourth COVID-19 test yesterday at the first sign of a throat irritation and unfortunately this time it came back positive.

“That is life! win some lose some. Heading for isolation in a health facility and praying for the best,” the Minister said.

 

 

Read Also: 653 New Infections As Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Exceed 36,000

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

 

Evacuations Ongoing

Onyeama is one of those who has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight in Nigeria since the pandemic began to ravage the country.

At several briefings by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, he had assured Nigerians of efforts being made to curb the spread of the virus especially with regards to plans for Nigerians stuck outside the country.

Flight operations had been shut in the wake of the pandemic to curb the rate of transmissions but in April, the Minister announced that several countries, including Canada, Israel, and the United States, had begun evacuating their citizens.

But the evacuation of Nigerians in other countries was delayed a bit as the government said it needed some time to sort out the logistics involved.

Subsequently, Mr Onyeama directed all citizens interested in returning to the country to work with Nigeria’s embassies and high commissions wherever they were.

At another briefing, the minister noted that the protocols for evacuating Nigerians in the Diaspora had been completed and the country was in a much “stronger and better position” to bring back citizens interested in returning to the country.

Since then, Nigerians across the world have been repatriated to the country in their hundreds, including the 134 who just arrived in Abuja from Sudan today.

 

A photo collage of Nigerians repatriated from various countries across the world in the past couple of weeks.

 

All evacuees are, however, expected to embark on a 14-day self-isolation, in line with the guidelines by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Ministry of Health.

In a series of tweets today, Onyeama also noted that another 22 Nigerians are on their way from France.

 

 

Over 36,000 Cases

Despite the precautions put in place by the government, the number of COVID-19 infections in the country has continued to rise.

As of today, Nigeria has 36,107 cases, with Lagos taking the lead as the state with the highest number of infections in the country.

14,938 persons have recovered from the virus and have been discharged from Isolation centres, while 778 have unfortunately died including top government officials like the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and more recently, the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, among others.

324 Nigerians Evacuated By FG Arrive In Abuja From US

The stranded Nigerians at the Newark Airport, New Jersey are being expected into the country July 18, 2020. Credit: Geoffrey Onyeama
The stranded Nigerians at the Newark Airport, New Jersey were expected in the country on July 18, 2020. Credit: Geoffrey Onyeama

 

The 324 Nigerians evacuated by the Federal Government from the United States have landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Channels Television can confirm.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama announced their departure from Newark Airport, New Jersey, on Twitter Saturday morning.

In his earlier tweet, Onyeama noted that the flight left the American soil on Friday and is due to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 15:35 pm Saturday.

READ ALSO: FG Evacuates 324 Nigerians From US

Channels Television confirmed their arrival Saturday afternoon.

The flight is part of efforts to bring back stranded Nigerians abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of Nigerians have been evacuated back home from across the world since the pandemic disrupted world travel.

In early June, the Federal Government said it has spent N169 million on the evacuation of Nigerians returning from overseas.

At least two more evacuation flights are expected from the country on July 28 and 31 respectively, Onyeama said on Saturday.

Meanwhile, 212 Nigerians are also expected to arrive Abuja on Saturday via Turkish Airlines from Cyprus, the Minister added in a later tweet.

“Some of the evacuees are Nigerian students from Cyprus, Nigerian professionals in Turkey, and few Nigerian professional footballers,” Onyeama said.

 

FG Evacuates 324 Nigerians From US

The stranded Nigerians at the Newark Airport, New Jersey are being expected into the country July 18, 2020. Credit: Geoffrey Onyeama

 

The Federal Government has evacuated another batch of 324 Nigerians who are stranded in the United States of America.

This was revealed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on Saturday via Twitter.

According to him, the Nigerian returnees are being expected into the country from Newark Airport, New Jersey.

Onyeama noted that the flight left the American soil on Friday and is due to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 15:35 pm today.

The Minister explained that following the development of the third evacuation of these citizens, two more evacuation flights are expected from the country on July 28 and 31 respectively.

READ ALSO: 335 Stranded Nigerians Return From U.S.

“The third evacuation flight from the #USA has departed Newark, New Jersey to Abuja with 324 Nigerians. The flight departed 23:27hrs on Friday 17th to arrive at about 15:35 pm today.

“Two more evacuation flights are expected from the US to Abuja and Lagos, on the 28th and 31st of this month,” he said.

The Nigerian government had on July 4 evacuated 335 stranded citizens from the US as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) who confirmed this to Channels Television said the evacuees tested negative for COVID-19 before boarding.

It, however, stated that they would remain in 14-day isolation before reuniting with their families.

Over 2,000 Nigerians have so far been evacuated from various parts of the world, among those who have indicated interest to return home following the COVID-19 pandemic.

See Photos Below:

PHOTOS: Buhari Holds Virtual Farewell Meeting With Chinese Ambassador

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has held a virtual farewell meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian.

The meeting took place on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

In attendance are the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama among other government officials.

See photos below:

COVID-19: FG Approves Evacuation Flight For Stranded Nigerians In US

 

The Federal Government is to evacuate another batch of stranded Nigerians from New York, the United States of America.

This was confirmed by the Nigeria Consulate in New York via a statement issued on Friday.

It noted that the Nigerian government had approved a third evacuation flight from the Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey to carry the evacuees from July 17, 2020.

While calling on Nigerians to register with any of the missions in the country, the citizens were asked to purchase their ticket between $1,250 and $2,800 pending on the class.

READ ALSO: 145 Nigerians Stranded In Sudan Return Home

According to the statement, prospective evacuees will undergo the necessary guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

One of such measures is that “all prospective evacuees must present an original COVID-19 negative test result not older than 14 days at the airport of departure and undergo a temperature check four hours before departure.

“Any intending evacuees without the stipulated test result, or body temperature above 38 degrees centigrade, or any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, will not be allowed to check-in.”

Similarly, the citizens were advised to be in possession of a hand sanitiser throughout the journey, while wearing their face masks.

Alleged Discrimination: Nigerians Attack Nigerian Embassy In Indonesia

 

Some Nigerians in Indonesia on Thursday attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia over alleged discrimination and infringement of their rights by Indonesian immigration officials.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, confirmed the attack in a tweet on his official handle, saying there is no justification for the attack.

While lamenting the development, he said efforts are being made to identify those behind the “disgraceful” incident and punish them accordingly.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Four For Public Peace Disturbances In Ogun

“Absolutely deplorable and disgraceful criminal behaviour by Nigerian hooligans who without justification attacked the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia today,” the minister said.

“Every effort will be made to identify them and see they are severely punished. Totally unacceptable behaviour.”

In videos trending online, some Nigerians were seen attacking the Embassy and chanting, “Nigeria is not helping us in this country. We don’t have an Embassy. We no go ‘gree.”

Some of them were seen destroying a white bus on the Embassy’s premises with others vandalising windows and doors of the building.

The protesters equally brought down the Nigerian flag and tore it to shreds.

 

 

Attack On Embassy In Ghana Was Carried Out By Non-State Actor, Says Onyeama

A file photo of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

 

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says the Ghanaian Government has apologised to Nigeria over the attack on its High Commission in Ghana.

While addressing reporters on Monday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the minister promised to ensure those behind the attack were brought to book.

According to him, the attack was reportedly carried out by non-state actors, a group of people who are claiming ownership of the same land where the Nigeria High Commission cited.

“What we can say is that it was a non-state actor that was involved; it was not the government and it was not government-sanctioned,” Onyeama said.

He added, “We have engaged with the highest level of authority in Ghana, it appears that they have some people claiming that they have legitimate entitle over that piece of land.”

A businessman had on Friday last week demolished the staff quarters of the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana, claiming the structure was built on his land.

The authorities in Nigeria and Ghana have condemned the incident.

FG Summons Ghanaian Envoy Over Demolition Of Embassy Quarters

the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, with the Charge d’ Affaires of the High Commission of Ghana to Nigeria, Iva Denoo. PHOTO: [email protected]

 

 

The Nigerian Government has summoned the Charge d’ Affaires of the High Commission of Ghana to Nigeria, Iva Denoo.

Denoo was summoned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, over the demolition of the staff quarters of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana.

Mr Onyeama disclosed this on Monday via a post on his verified Twitter handle.

During the meeting, the minister said he demanded an urgent explanation of the incident and reinforcement of security around Nigeria’s diplomatic premises and staff in Ghana.

 

The meeting held three days after a businessman demolished the building, claiming the structure was built on his land.

According to sources, the man showed up last week with some pieces of evidence to support his claim and began to knock down the fence surrounding the building.

He was said to have returned to the scene on Friday last week with a bulldozer and began to pull down the building.

The authorities in Nigeria and Ghana have condemned the incident.

See photos of the meeting between the minister and the Ghanaian envoy below:

Nigerian Govt Condemns Attacks On Embassy In Ghana

FG Mourns Ex-Nigerian Ambassador To Congo, Saleh Pisagih
File photo: Minister of Foriegn Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria has strongly condemned what it terms ‘attacks’ on a residential building within its diplomatic premises in Ghana.

Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, disclosed the Federal Government’s displeasure in a series of tweets posted on his timeline on Sunday.

Onyeama’s tweets come on the heels of several reports that buildings at the diplomatic premises were brought down by a bulldozer late Friday, June 19, following claims by a businessman who said he owned the piece of land where the Nigerian High Commission’s staff quarters was erected.

It took a timely intervention by the Ghanaian police to stop more buildings from being destroyed.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Embassy Staff Quarters In Ghana Demolished

In reaction, Mr Oyeama condemned the attack and urged the Ghanaian government to take precise actions against the perpetrators of the attacks.

Onyeama tweeted, “We strongly condemn two outrageous criminal attacks in Accra, #Ghana, on a residential building in our diplomatic premises by unknown persons in which a bulldozer was used to demolish the building.

“We are engaging the Ghanaian Government and demand urgent action to find the perpetrators and provide adequate protection for Nigerians and their property in Ghana. #StayHomeSaveLives #COVID19 @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @GhanaMFA” 

 

Over 600 Evacuees In Lagos And Abuja, We Are Reaching Saturation Point – Onyeama

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama says Nigeria is reaching a saturation with regards to the process of evacuating its citizens from across the world.

Mr Onyeama who disclosed this on Monday at the Presidential Task Force Briefing on COVID-19, noted that the evacuation of Nigerians from Dubai, UK and New York, has been successful.

READ ALSO: Lagos COVID-19 Patient Intercepted At Otukpo

He, however, stressed that a lot went wrong with logistics in the case of passengers who were transported to Abuja, stressing that better arrangement will be made to prevent any future recurrence.

While revealing that over 600 evacuees are now in Lagos and Abuja, the Minister said the process is reaching a saturation point, adding that the ministry will now stagger the process a bit, as to allow some space before bringing more citizens into the country.

Mr Onyeama stated that there are still so many Nigerians outside still needing evacuation, assuring that more will be brought in when those on ground have been better sorted.

COVID-19: 265 Nigerians To Arrive Lagos From Dubai On Wednesday – Foreign Ministry

A file photo of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

 

The Foreign Affairs Ministry has said 265 Nigerians will arrive in Lagos from Dubai on Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Tuesday, ministry spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye, said the Emirates Airlines tasked with the transport is scheduled to arrive at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Over 4,000 Nigerians are waiting to be evacuated across the world back home, foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama said on Monday.

Discussions are also ongoing with British Airways to evacuate 300 Nigerians from London on Friday.

Additionally, arrangements are being made with Ethiopian airlines to evacuate Nigerians from New York to Abuja next Monday, the foreign ministry said.

The ministry added that the Dubai evacuation is being carried out in accordance with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines.

Evacuees will be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine environment.

The ministry said it has made arrangements for hotel accommodations in Lagos and Abuja, which will be used to quarantine the incoming citizens.

The hotels have been inspected by the “Port Health Services, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IPC,” the foreign ministry said.

 

Read the Ministry’s full statement below:

PRESS RELEASE

No: MFA/PR/2020/10

UPDATE ON THE EVACUATION OF NIGERIANS ABROAD

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of evacuating Nigerians from abroad and in accordance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, the evacuees will undergo a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine in a monitored environment.

In this regard, Emirates Airlines is scheduled to evacuate the first batch of 265 Nigerians from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and they will arrive at 3:00pm on Wednesday, 6th May, 2020 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Arrangements for hotel accommodation in Lagos and Abuja have been made for the evacuation process. The hotels have been inspected by the following: Port Health Services, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IPC.

The hotels include:
1. Bolingo – 300 rooms
2. App Apartments – 61 rooms
3. Royalty – 80 rooms
4. China International – 200 rooms
5. Belvior – 30 rooms
6. Barcelona – 300 rooms

Discussions are also ongoing with British Airways, through the British High Commission, to evacuate about 300 Nigerians from London on Friday, 8th May, 2020. The flight (BA 9155) will depart London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, at 07:10am and arrive Lagos at 1:10.

Additionally, arrangements are ongoing with Ethiopian airlines to bring evacuees back to Abuja from New York on Monday 11 May, 2020.

The Federal Government wishes to reassure Nigerian of its continued commitment in ensuring the welfare and safety of all citizens.

Ferdinand Nwonye, Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Tuesday 5th May, 2020.

FG To Evacuate Over 270 Nigerians From U.S. On Sunday

A file photo of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.

 

 

The Nigerian Government has concluded plans to evacuate about 270 Nigerians willing to return home from the United States.

This was disclosed in a statement dated May 3 from the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York.

The consulate explained that a one-way flight has been arranged for the evacuation of stranded Nigerians in the US and would take off on Sunday night.

It added that the flight operated by Ethiopian Airlines with a 270-passenger capacity would evacuate travellers at their expense and the returnees would fly economy class.

According to the statement, the flight will depart for Abuja from Newark (EWR) Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, United States, and is expected to arrive at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday next week.

It also revealed that over 700 citizens have registered with the Nigerian Missions in the US to be evacuated but only 270 people would be accommodated.

The consulate stressed that applications to be evacuated would be considered on a ‘first-come, first-served basis while the list of evacuees would be treated according to their immigration status.

It said those who have proofs of short-stay visas, the elderly, families with children, and returning students would also be given special attention.

Read the full statement below: