Foreign affairs Minister talks tough on deportation of Nigerians

Channels Television  
Updated March 21, 2012

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru has stated that the federal government will no longer tolerate the maltreatment of Nigerians in foreign countries, particularly when it involves deportation of Nigerians.

The former ambassador warned that such deportation must be done with dignity and decency, warning that the federal government “will not tolerate the mal-treatment of Nigerians for no just cause.”

The Minister made this known in Abuja on Tuesday, while addressing members of the diplomatic corps serving in Nigeria.

He noted that the Nigerian government is “not opposed to deportation of Nigerians who no longer have the rights to remain in the country from where they are begin deported, especially after they might have exhausted all local remedies” but added that such “deportation should be done within the appropriate institutional and legal framework and with dignity and decency.”

Nigeria was recently involved in a diplomatic row with South Africa over the deportation 125 Nigerians for possessing fake Yellow-fever vaccination cards. Authorities in Pretoria later apologised for the development and sent envoys to Abuja to meet with President Jonathan.

Mr Ashiru also called for improved services to Nigerians at visa centres and embassies in the country, while urging the diplomatic corps to treat Nigerian citizens abroad with utmost respect.

He also gave the foreign envoys the assurance that terrorist attacks in the country will soon be a thing of the past and called for the need to device creative ways of increasing and diversifying trade and investment between the countries, “in all sectors of our own economy especially in the power sector.”

He urged Nigerians all over the world to be law abiding and not abuse the hospitality of their host.