Nigeria closes Taiwan office in Abuja, prompts strong protest from Taiwan

The move came less than a month after Sao Tome and Principe decided to sever ties with Taiwan and turned to befriend China.

(By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Nigerian government has ordered to shut down Taiwan’s office in the nation’s capital, Abuja, and move its trade mission to Lagos, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday, while lodging a formal protest against the African nation’s “unreasonable act.”

On Wednesday, Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama announced the move in a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, before stating the nation’s commitment to recognize Beijing’s “One China policy,” saying that Taiwan will stop enjoying any privileges because “it is not recognized as a country.”   

The move came less than a month after the small west African nation of Sao Tome and Principe severed ties with Taiwan and turned to establish diplomatic relations with China, leaving the already politically isolated island nation with merely 21 allies.

The Foreign Ministry held a press conference on Thursday, stating that the Nigerian government requested several days ago to close Taiwan’s Representative Office in Abuja, and forbid officials from making any official contact with Taiwanese counterparts.

The move is misleading given Taiwan does not have diplomatic relationship with Nigeria, said Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Eleanor Wang today. The ministry has lodged a formal protest reprimanding Nigerian government for such “unreasonable act.”