The Nigerian High Commission in London has ceased operations due to daily protests by Nigerians who have joined the #BuhariMustGo and #RevolutionNow movements and assembled at the commission.
The Nigerian Mission, embarrassed by the gatherings that were placing President Muhammadu Buhari and his associates under pressure, declared its closure for ten days, according to SaharaReporters.
The Mission, on the other hand, blamed the closure on the COVID-19 virus in a statement.
“This afternoon, the Head of Immigration Section and two other officials went for a meeting at the Home Office. At the entrance, Covid test was administered on them and one of them tested positive to COVID-19. The affected officer immediately isolated while the other officials, who tested negative will also isolate for the next 10 days.
“In response to this challenge, the Mission embarked on testing all officials of the Mission after which another official tested positive. In line with the COVID-19 regulation, and the need to adhere to the rules and regulations of the host country, the Mission will close down for the next 10 days, in order to observe the mandatory isolation of those who were in contact with the affected officials,” the Missions said.
“Nigeria has temporarily shut its UK Embassy due to embarrassment by #BuhariMustGo protesters. They, however, claimed it was COVID-19 related. #RevolutionNow,” human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, tweeted.
Following another round of protests by Nigerians in the UK, SaharaReporters alleged on Tuesday that Buhari and his advisers had invited the London police to prevent demonstrators from gathering in London’s Trafalgar Square.
When the High Commissioner came to persuade them, the demonstrators refused to leave the ground, according to SaharaReporters.
The protesters had laid siege to the embassy for 14 days, demanding that Buhari return to Nigeria and address the country’s health and security crises.
SaharaReporters were able to capture video showing London police officers chatting with Nigerian demonstrators and appearing to be pleasant.
“Buhari again calls UK Police on #BuhariMustGo protesters laying siege on the Nigerian Embassy in London. But the protesters are adamant. The ambassador came and invited them to come inside they refused.
“They insisted that President Buhari must go as he had failed. He must leave office. They have laid siege on the embassy for 14 days – since Buhari left for the UK without handing over to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
“The UK police have been polite and friendly. The protest was led by Gbola Owoborode of #RevolutionNow in London,” a source had revealed.