New Delhi is in touch with the Goa government to defuse a possible downturn in ties with Nigeria, one of its biggest suppliers of oil. The crisiss developed after a Nigerian was killed in Goa and peaked after the State government passed an order for eviction against undocumented foreigners that was interpreted as being directed against all Nigerians in the State.

Nigeria has already issued a note verbale to the Foreign Office here last week conveying concerns over the security of its citizens and seeking the immediate arrest of the killers.

But Nigerians were upset after Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar asked the police to locate Nigerians and other foreign nationals staying without visa and other documentation. As initial reports suggested that all Nigerians were to be evicted, their High Commission here warned that if that was the case, all Indians working in Nigeria would also be treated in a similar manner.

“We have been telling them to stop this process of throwing out all Nigerians. We are a sovereign country and are therefore free to take decisions as we see fit,” said Nigerian diplomat Jacob Nwadibia.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) got in touch with the Nigerian High Commission while Indian diplomats in Abuja contacted the Foreign Ministry to convey that India had excellent relations with Nigeria and that all issues will be addressed in a “cooperative manner in line with our friendly ties,” said official sources in the MEA.