Group Tasks Brazil’s Embassy to Improve Management

Mary Nnah

The Africans and Afro Descendants Emancipation Movement (AADEM) has urged the Brazilian government to intervene promptly in ensuring senior officers capable of handling diplomacy return to the embassy in Lagos, Nigeria, and Africa at large.

The group noted that leveraging the cultural ties and similarities between Brazil and Nigeria, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu emerges as a strategic leader with whom collaboration would be compelling.

The group noted further that combining this with Nigeria’s status as the largest population in Africa and one of the leading economies on the continent sets the stage for fostering positive transformations and facilitating seamless collaborations.

In an open letter addressed to the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,   AADEM congratulated the president for the commendable work he is doing to elevate Brazil, noting that they closely observe the strategies and policies he has implemented for the ongoing transformations in Brazil.

“Being present at your inauguration on January 1, 2023, was an honour. Your inaugural speech was not only electrifying but also inspiring, reflecting your commitment to transform the political landscape and position Brazil as a pride of South America.
The group also commends the Brazilian president for his efforts to highlight Brazil’s cultural strength amidst challenges like racial inequalities. 

“We were also in attendance at the inauguration of the Minister of Human Rights, Mr. Silvio Almeida. His speech shed light on the challenges of racial inequality in Brazil, aligning with information from a few Nigerians residing in Brazil, particularly our Afro-Brazilian brothers and sisters who frequently visit Africa”, the letter stated.

However, AADEM lamented that its efforts to contribute, collaborate and connect with Nigerians who are descendants of their ancestors forced out of Africa during slavery to Brazil, Europe, the Caribbean, and the United States have faced serious setbacks due to unprofessional conduct by Brazilian diplomats in Nigeria,   particularly at the Brazilian consulate in Lagos, for the past nine months.

The group is calling on Brazilian Consulates, especially the consulate in Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos, led by Mr. Luisivan Vellar Strelow, who has been accused of consistently showing disrespect towards Nigerian citizens, to address the issue. They want to ensure that diplomatic relations between Brazil and Nigeria remain respectful and positive.

While the group understands that the embassy must operate within certain rules and regulations, they believe that it’s unacceptable for Brazilian Consulates to deliberately disrespect, frustrate, and take money from some Nigerians for visa fees without processing their requests.
AADEM expresses its desire to join hands with the Brazilian government, as demonstrated by His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, during his two visits to Brazil in 2018 and last year’s inauguration of the Brazil National Day of Traditions of African Roots and Candomblé Nations on March 21st.

The group noted however that, regrettably, its efforts have faced serious setbacks due to numerous complaints from high-net-worth individuals, state governments, and various local governments in Nigeria who have expressed interest in cultural, economic, and spiritual connections with Brazil.

“You need to be aware that Nigerians are globally recognised for remarkable achievements, particularly in music, sports, and the arts. Nigerians living in the United States, Europe, and parts of Asia stand out as some of the most educated immigrants.

In the United States, Nigerians represent the most highly educated group, with 61% holding at least a bachelor’s degree. This surpasses the figures of 3 1% for the total foreign-born population and 32% for the US-born population, as per 2017 data from the Migration Policy Institute”, AADEM noted.

The group hopes to replicate the success of Nigerians living in the United States, Europe and parts of Asia in Brazil by connecting with African descendants, whom it considers brothers and sisters while fostering collaborations that will contribute positively to their growth and development.

The group said further: “While acknowledging the exemplary performance of past diplomats, we observe a stark contrast in recent times, where Nigerians seeking to visit Brazil or propose collaboration in cultural programmes are either neglected or completely ignored.
“Mr. President, we believe this is not aligned with your agenda for Africa, as it jeopardizes positive relationships and future engagements. With the G20 summit scheduled to take place this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as the host nation, all eyes will be on Brazil. Africa needs Brazil, and vice versa.”

The group eagerly anticipates a favourable response and remains enthusiastic about connecting with their brothers and sisters in Brazil, while assuring the Brazilian president of their safety and the best hospitality whenever they visit Nigeria. The group also looks forward to the Brazilian president’s visit to Nigeria.

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