The Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, cleared the Chinese restaurant accused by some Nigerians of racism even as yet another Nigerian, who was barred from entering the restaurant riased an outcry.
The government’s position which was made known via a press statement issued by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, said that investigations by its officers sent to “investigate the veracity of the claim” showed that the allegations were false.
“The two officers who went there on Monday did so incognito and found the allegations to be false. The officers were served without any questions or discrimination. They also took photographs without being noticed.
“Our officers also observed that the restaurant had a number of Nigerians working inside there and did similarly observe that pepper soup, a Nigerian delicacy is also on the menu. More, importantly, the restaurant has been registered with the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture since 2016 as required by law.”
The ministry which regulates eateries, restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality facilities in Lagos promised to conduct further investigations.
However, social media users suggest that the restaurant relaxed its obnoxious racist policy after the initial outrage on social media on Sunday. After a report by Punch on Monday, the restaurant threw open its doors to the public.
One of the workers of the company admitted that the restaurant took notice of the outrage on social media on Sunday.
A director of the company, Niyi Adegbite, also refuted the allegations of discrimination but added that the restaurants had two sections. One of the sections is open to the general public while the other is strictly for Chinese.
According to Adegbite, “The restaurant is divided into two sections. There is one open to the public and there is one called Hot Pot. The Hot Pot is where you enter and cook on your own. All the ingredients are made available. But it’s only for Chinese nationals. Maybe it’s this one that some people tried entering and were disallowed and is now causing the outcry.”
Joshua Jenom Gidin, who said he was denied entry along with five of his friends last Saturday, said it all seemed like a joke at first when he was told that blacks would not be let in.
Gidin, who is a journalist with Pulse TV in Lagos, said, “When we got to the gate, we saw some pretty Chinese girls going inside and we even laughed with them. When we attempted to go in, they refused to allow us in because we were black. I first thought it was a joke but when the guards repeated it almost five times, I knew they were serious.”
Source: Punch News.