Lebanese ambassador expected a private meeting
Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Houssam Diab reportedly walked out on Nigeria lawmakers from the House of Representatives during a meeting on Thursday.
The House of Reps’ Committee on Diaspora Affairs had invited Mr Diab to as part of investigations into the reports of enslavement of some Nigerians in Lebanon.
However, Punch reports that the Lebanese ambassador walked out on the lawmakers shortly after he entered the Conference Room 236, New Building, House Wing of the National Assembly complex where the meeting was supposed to hold.
It was learnt that the Lebanese ambassador was expecting a closed-door meeting with the lawmakers but met other government officials and journalists at the venue.
Chairman of the committee, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, was quoted as saying that she was shocked that the “ambassador will just get up and walk out on us”.
While some lawmakers and officials followed the ambassador, the committee called for a closed-door session, sending journalists, security men and aides out of the venue.
Emerging from the meeting, Akande-Sadipe said: “It was an informal meeting because the Ambassador was nice enough to join us at the meeting. There is no law that says he has to be here today but because he has an interest in the joint relationship between Nigeria and Lebanon.
“We have a lot of Nigerians in Lebanon and we have a lot of Lebanese in Nigeria. We have a relationship with Lebanon from the 50s, so you can imagine we have been.
“This meeting today has further reiterated that the Lebanese community and the Nigerian community always stand together to ensure that justice and respect for human lives is a priority, and we will work together to bring modern-day slavery to an end.”
The committee has been meeting with stakeholders on the harassment, intimidation and tracking of Nigerians in other countries, especially on the case of Temitope Arowolo in Lebanon.