A Nigerian lady, Temitope Olagbegi, has taken to her social media handle to share her experience with officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service, who allegedly seized her passport after she told them to wear face masks.
Olagbegi said she had politely asked the officers to wear face masks but was allegedly insulted in return after and told that a woman had no right to question men.
In the blurry video shared by Olagbegi on Instagram, she was heard repeatedly saying, “AF Dantala, give me my passport!” while someone in the background was saying, “continue your work.”
Her post on Instagram – @temitope_olagbegi – read, “It was a heartbreaking experience for me coming into the country to see the Nigeria Immigration (Service officers) not wearing masks. I lost it!
“How can you be handling multiple passports without gloves or masks. These guys speak to people and droplets can get unto passports. Is this not how the virus is transmitted? I said to them in a friendly manner at first to wear their masks and the complete disregard infuriated me.
“I began to scream. I couldn’t take it. Are they ignorant? If they are ignorant, I dare say, they should not be there as government representatives. I lost a dear friend to COVID-19 less than a month ago. Why is this not being taken seriously? The frontline into the country!!! It made no sense to me.
“And when I started to raise my voice, my passport was seized. The officer told me to make sure I go to Lagos Island to shout at them to wear their masks.
“Unbelievable!!! Did they think seizing my passport would scare me? No way. I demanded to see the highest authority. And what was I told? To please delete the pictures and videos I took. Heartbreaking!!”
In another post, she said she had to stand her ground before her passport and those of her family members were eventually released.
Olagbegi said she was asked by the officers to delete the videos and pictures she made and that none of the officers eventually used a face mask.
Her other post read, “I got the insults of my life in the two hours my passport and those of my family members were held. I was told by the authorities that as a woman I had no right to challenge the men to wear their masks.
“I was told I must have been ill brought up and I must be a bad wife and mother to my children. At some point, the age on my passport was checked and they said, I was not even their mate.
“I had to ask the supposed Oga (boss) speaking to me if these were the appropriate responses to give to a woman demanding the right thing to be done by his officers. At no point did he say, “Guys, put on your masks!” It was one insult to the other from him until he realised I was unflinching.
“They demanded that I delete the incriminating videos and pictures I had before releasing our passports. And that was not going to happen! We have tolerated too much nonsense from officers for too long. I was well within my rights. You have to charge me for something! They had nothing on me.”
SaharaReporters, New York