The management of the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austria has reportedly turned the waiting room of the Embassy into a food joint, popularly known in Nigeria as “Mama-put”, SaharaReporters has learnt.
It was gathered that the food joint which serves dishes like Jollof rice, beans, fried fish and plantain among others collect €10 per plate in the joint.
Uzoma Ahamefule, a Nigerian citizen based in Vienna, Austria, in an open letter obtained by SaharaReporters, said, “When one gets into the embassy for anything, after normal questioning and writing down one’s name at the reception, the sliding door will be opened for the person to go in by the receptionist.
“And immediately after the step at the right-hand side is the spot mapped out for the business of selling food by the embassy. A plate of food here goes for €10 (around N7,780 currently naira exchange rate equivalent). One could equally purchase take-away.”
Ahamefule in a report, titled: “The waiting room of the Nigerian Embassy in Vienna, Austria turns to a ‘Mama put’ Joint,’ said that one needs not be told that there is delicious food at the Embassy as the aroma says it all.
He said, “Immediately one gets into the embassy, the appetising aroma of sizzling Jollof rice or fried fish, etc. welcomes the person. Anyone who is hungry is advised to avoid the downstairs of the embassy because the strong smell of the stew or Jollof rice and fried meat in the air keeps the stomach of that person extremely uncomfortable and very restless in protest.
“I confess that the food there is very delicious. But is the embassy of a country the right place to perceive the smell of fried snails and draw soups of Ogbono and Okro?” he queried.
He added, “Whatever prompted this embarrassment is ridiculously disgraceful. I have never seen nor heard of such ugly news anywhere in the world, where embassies sell food to visitors in their waiting rooms except Nigeria.”
Ahamefule further queried, “Does it mean that the Nigerian government is not paying the staff of the embassy their salary that made them to shamelessly resort to turning the embassy into a restaurant? This is unfortunate.
“I tried contacting the ambassador like I had done with some other past ambassadors so that this issue and other complaints from Nigerians could be discussed and settled without the public knowledge, but the response from the embassy was so discouraging, arrogant and provoking. Hence this open letter, and more exposures will come.
“This ugly situation is not hidden, and cannot be possible without the consent and the approval of the upper echelons of the embassy, because it has been going on for a very long time now. Nigerians in Austria do nothing than murmur.”
He, however, appealed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama to immediately instruct the Ambassador to Austria, Ambassador S. D. Umar to discontinue what he described as “this shameful exhibition. It is odd and very embarrassing.”
“The ambassador must please brace up to the reality that that small place at the embassy is not the right place to do any personal business. It is not supposed to be used to compensate anyone or for charity. It is hilariously shameful and should be discontinued with immediate effect,” he said.
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