Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader, Ravi Naik, used a social slur and sought a ban on Nigerians entering India and demanded that students staying illegally be screened for documents and deported immediately.
“The Central government should ban Nigerians,” Naik reportedly said at a press conference. Referring to Nigerians as “negroes”, the politician accused them of causing trouble “everywhere”, the Times of India reported.
“Even the Aam Aami Party leaders had a fight with Nigerians in Bengaluru,” he said. “They create problems everywhere… We do not want Nigerian tourists.” He accused some Nigerians in Goa, a state in the Asian country, of masquerading as students, demanding a probe into their activities.
Kiran Kandolkar, Goa spokesman, has demanded an apology from Naik over the controversial statement. “Ravi Naik should tender an apology. The statements made by Naik are insulting and uncalled for,” he told reporters yesterday.
Nigerians have either been killed or subjected to various forms of harassment in India over the years.
In May, African diplomats in New Delhi boycotted an Africa Day organised by the Indian government to protest what they called renewed “racism and Afro-phobia” against African students.
In a protest to the Indian government, the envoys argued they would not attend Africa Day because they are “mourning” the Africans killed by mobs in India recently.“The African Group (of heads of missions) has requested a postponement of the event. They have also decided not to participate in the celebrations, except the Cultural Troupe from the Kingdom of Lesotho,” said a statement signed by the group’s dean, Alem Woldemariam, who is also the Eritrean ambassador to India.
“This is because the African community in India including students are in a state of mourning in memory of their slain African students in the last few years, including Mr Oliver.