Update on the embassy wahala….
Went back there last week Friday because though I had the option of renewing in Nigeria, my husband does not have a Naija trip planned for before his passport expires. He’d sent an email to the immigration service in Nigeria and they’d given us a date to go to the embassy. They assured him the system is meant to generate the dates (which it does). The embassy is not supposed to give dates (which they do). The NIS responded very promptly to every email. Gave us a date for the very next day – Friday.
Met some chap at the door who refuses to let us in because “they are not open to the public on Fridays”..
Hubby tries to explain we’ve been at this matter since January. He’s been calling for two months, nobody picks the phone. He’s being very civil and talking nicely.
Guy tells him the same thing they told me last week. No appointments till July. There’s nothing he can do.
Hubby insists he is not leaving until someone tells us what the next step is. July is too far. He cannot be in a foreign country with an expired passport.
At this point nobody is being nice anymore. We are actually shouting in turns on Avenue Victor Hugo.
I shout at the man. Tell him the embassy is a disgrace to Nigeria. I can hear my voice ringing on that street but I really don’t care. Me. Shouting on the street in Paris. Homaigosh.
And then I shout –
“I’m going to Twitter-storm all of you. Everybody has told me to make a recording of this encounter and put it on twitter”
For about two minutes before I’d been fiddling with my phone. Trying to look for that thing where you can make a voice recording. Someone actually commented on the post I made last week (a shared version) that I was “lying or exaggerating” about the encounter l had there. Here was this man saying the SAME THING they told me last week. Unfortunately I’ve never tried to do a voice recording with this particular phone so I couldn’t find the right button…
Anyway, long and short of the story, apparently the energy changed when I mentioned Twitter. I was frantically fiddling with my phone so I didnt notice.
All I saw was that I looked up and the man had disappeared from the door and left the door open.
So we went in.
And a lady came out and said we should give her our forms and she’d get us an appointment. She gave gave us an appointment for today (Monday). We were both shocked honestly. Just like that? This same embassy that nobody is picking the phone and the email address bounces incoming mail?
So, as usual, as with most encounters with Naija civil service, unless you are reduced to a blubbering, crying mess, where you’re frustrated and begging them, or frustrated and cursing their ancestors for making them so useless; or you become an apoplectic raging bull, threatening to set off a Twitter storm and get them all sacked, you really cannot get anything done…
We saw a man at the embassy today that said he’d been calling the enbassy phone since SEPTEMBER 2018 and the one time someone picked up, she told him to call back. And nobody ever picked up the phone again. Sound familiar?
Anyway, the pictures been now been taken, fingerprints confirmed. Pickup will be done some other time.