Abike Dabiri-Erewa

FG warns against attacks on Nigerians in diaspora

NEWS DIGEST – The Federal Government at the weekend declared that the lives of Nigerians living abroad are very precious to Nigeria.

Accordingly, they should be taken care of by the host country just as Nigeria has been taking care of foreign nationals in Nigeria.

The Chairman/CEO of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, briefed State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Stressing that only Nigerians who commit crime abroad should be made to face the wrath of the law, she said that Nigeria and her innocent citizens should not be penalized.

She spoke specifically on attacks on Nigerians in Ghana and Togo.

She said “But right now we are dealing with the issue of attacking Nigerian traders in Ghana. We have the assurances of the President of Ghana through the High Commission here and ours in Ghana that Nigerian traders will be protected.

“So we are also going to be emphasizing that the life of one Nigerian means a lot to us anywhere in the world.” she said

She went on “Of course we have the issue of Ghana, the Professor whose appointment was terminated by his university because of the tape he released. Well, it turned out that he didn’t actually record, I mean that was a private meeting with Nigerians in Ghana, it was like a private discussion.

“And he also claimed that part of the tape was actually doctored. The matter is been looked into by the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana and I believed those matters will be resolved subsequently.” she stated

Speaking on the incident in Togo, she said “And the issues happening around neighbouring countries like Togo. In Togo, we have Nigerians attacked. One woman alleged that she was raped and she turned out to be his girlfriend.

“We have also seen the Togolese Ambassador and made it clear that the lives of Nigerians must be protected anywhere they are because we take care of others here and we deserve to be taken care of.

“If a Nigerian commits a crime, let him pay the penalty for it as a punishment, but you cannot penalise a nation and its citizens.

“So we will be working more on that as we appealed to Nigerians to be good ambassadors wherever they find themselves.” she said

She also disclosed that the government is already intervening in the incident in the United Kingdom (UK) where a Nigerian damaged some vehicles at the High Commission.

“But the key things happening across, you know the UK incident of the Nigerian who damaged some vehicles at the High Commission. We have made it clear that that incident is unacceptable.

“There is no reason why he should damage and be so violent. At the same time, we do admit that there are some challenges in some of our embassies while there have been large improvements in some of them.”

She said that a stakeholders meeting has been scheduled to hold in the UK over the matter.

“We will be having a stakeholders meeting in particular in the UK with the Nigerian community, the High Commission, the immigration, to look at whatever the challenges are so that they can be resolved because I know that there are some challenges that are resolvable.

“So, we will be engaging more with the diaspora. Subsequently, we are going to have hotlines for Nigerians in diaspora so that they can contact the commission and we can look into whatever challenges they are facing.” she added.

Speaking further on the outcome of the meeting with the President, she said “Since the passage of the diaspora commission bill by Mr. President, this is my first time to thank him and also brief him on the activities of the commission so far, which in the last one week have been quite a lot.


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