PANJIM: Nigerians who were once living without any hassles in Parra now find themselves at the receiving end with landlords having suddenly changed their minds on leasing out their premises to them and several claiming that they have been locked out of places where they used to live previoulsy.
Speaking to Herald, Nigerian John Okeke, explained that despite having all the requisite documents, the landlords have shut doors their doors on them.
“Goans have given us a clear message. If you are black there is no place for you. I have all the documents including a nine months visa and have the ‘C’ form,” Okeke told Herald, adding that around 20 Nigerians who were earlier living in Parra were now left homeless and had to either spend the night on the beach or whatever place they could find. “We have even signed lease agreements for the period of one year,” he said.
“Most of us have experienced this. We find that the landlords have put a lock on the accommodation where we were staying. In some cases the bags are locked inside, in other cases the bags have been kept outside,” he said.
“We need help from our government. We are stranded in Goa now. We are turned away by taxi drivers, by grocery store owners and by other shops. If we want to travel or to even get food for ourselves we cannot get it,” Okeke said.
He said that majority of Nigerians living in villages of Parra, Guirim, Siolim, Anjuna and Porvorim were mostly male and as such he does not know if women too have been affected by cold shoulder shown by landlords who once welcomed them.
“It’s for three days now that this has been happening. Some of us who were in jail have now returned only to find our houses locked and many haven’t been able to claim the belongings,” he said.
The situation has been aggravated by Parra panchayat backed by its sarpanch Delilah Lobo and by its MLA Michael Lobo who in the wake of the Nigerian incident of October 31 stated that they were a nuisance and that 98% of them were involved in drug trade.
Lobo’s eagerness to selectively go all out and target Nigerians appears inexplicable, but his constituents only seem to be toeing the line of their MLA.
Earlier, a Nigerian diplomat speaking to Herald warned that if the “orders” of Michael Lobo that all Nigerians have to leave are not withdrawn, Indians living in Nigeria would face a backlash. The Nigerian House of Representatives too has unanimously passed a resolution seeking that its committee on external affairs take up the issue with the Indian government.
--------The Herald, Goa