Panaji, June 7 (IANS) Nigerian nationals in India do display “bad behaviour” but calling for a ban on their entry into the country, as Congress leader Ravi Naik has done, is going too far, Kiran Kandolkar, BJP’s spokesman in Goa, said on Tuesday.
Kandolkar also said that Naik should have banned Nigerians when he was home minister in the previous Congress-led coalition government.
“Goans do not want Nigerians, because they riot, are over the top, have a rough attitude and bad behaviour,” said Kandolkar, when asked to respond to Naik’s statement earlier in the day demanding a ban on Nigerians.
Earlier on Tuesday, Naik referred to Nigerians as “Negroes” and said: “The government of India should ban them. They should be probed. It should be checked whether they are here to study or for picnic or to sell drugs.”
“Nigerians come here and do ‘dadagiri’, in Delhi, Bengaluru and the entire country. We should chase the Nigerians out of here,” said Naik, a former chief minister of Goa.
Kandolkar, who represents Thivim in Goa assembly, seemed to agree with Naik — albeit with reservations.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator said: “We know Nigerians are involved in crooked things here. We accept it. We have seen their behavior and their activities … we have heard, read it in the papers.”
“But that doesn’t mean I can make a statement (about banning them) being a part of the government,” Kandolkar said, adding that in a democracy it was wrong to ban specific communities or groups.
Kandolkar said Naik should apologise for referring to Nigerians as “Negroes”.
“Obviously he should apologize. As a senior leader and a good politician, Ravi Naik should apologize to all black people who he has referred to as Negroes,” Kandolkar said, adding that Naik should have banned Nigerians when he was a home minister between 2007-2012.
On May 30, Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had said that Goans were unhappy with the attitude and the lifestyle of Nigerians living in the coastal state.
On the same day, Goa’s Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar also said that Nigerians create problems in Goa and sell drugs.
In 2014, during the monsoon session of the Goa assembly, the state home ministry referred to Africans as ‘Negroes’, an error for which then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had to tender an apology after an outcry.