Why 600 Nigerians Haven’t Been Evacuated From Saudi Arabia – Dabiri-Erewa


The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has responded to a viral video depicting Nigerians pleading to be returned from Saudi Arabia.

While Ms Dabiri-Erewa said she could not verify the video, she confirmed that 600 Nigerians are currently awaiting deportation from the Muslim country.

READ ALSO: About 600 Stranded Nigerians In Saudi Arabia Call For Help

The NIDCOM chief, who appeared on Channels Televisions flagship News At 10 late Friday, attributed the delay to the coronavirus pandemic as both countries bickered over the responsibility of paying for COVID-19 tests.

While noting that the 600 are now set to be returned home by the end of January, Ms Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians to shun illegal migration.

Below is an edited transcript of Ms Erewa-Dabiri’s interview:

CTV: Are you in touch with these Nigerians?

Dabiri-Erewa: I can’t confirm the video. But I know that we have 600 Nigerians that are illegal migrants, that would be leaving Saudi Arabia. Yesterday we were with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and other officials and plans have already been made to get them home before the end of the month pending any unforeseen circumstances.

It’s been on for a while. Saudi Arabia said they want to rid their country of illegal migrants and they gave them deadlines; and different countries have been taking away their citizens, and Nigeria will do the same thing. But there’s been delays, dates have been changed because of COVID-19, and there have been arguments about who’s responsible for the tests; but everything has been resolved and like the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, they should be home before the end of the month.

What condition are they – the 600 – in at the moment?

They are in a deportation camp awaiting to be returned to Nigeria at the moment. And like I said, they are from different nationalities, different countries, not only Nigerians because Saudi Arabia actually packed the illegal immigrants and said they should all return to their countries once they don’t have proper documentation.

Of course, a deportation camp is never the best place to be and that is why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been working hard to get them back home. And I’ll keep saying, we need to really discourage irregular migration. It’s getting tougher, more dangerous, more difficult to survive as an irregular migrant anywhere in the world.

So one of the things we will be doing is massive awareness of the dangers of irregular migration. Now, this 600 will come back, and don’t be surprised you will still hear tears and cries of ‘oh we are irregular migrants, we are stranded, bring us back home’. So we really have to ensure that we put a stop to this issue of irregular migration. It’s dangerous, it’s deadly, and where you are running to ends up being worse than where you are running away from. So that’s actually the issue we have to deal with as a nation.

What sort of measures is being put in place to stop this?

It’s actually something that every Nigerian should be involved in, not just the government. But on the part of the government, we should work at having a managed migration. Okay, these people are going to work . . . they just want to work. And the people need their services. So why can’t we work at having a properly documented managed migration? Some other countries are doing that. The Philippines does it. They come to you properly and you know what they are being paid. It’s even said they make as much as $6 billion from that. So, really, irregular migration can become regular. It can be made possible to be legal because they need these services. It doesn’t have to be done in an irregular manner. That’s one of the things Nigeria must do, working with other countries. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Labour should come together and see the next steps to be taken in this regard.

A file photo of NIDCOM boss, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.


But for all of us, we need to discourage our citizens from traveling irregularly. President Buhari instructed a delegation to go to Libya. Under his leadership, Nigeria brought back about 7,000 irregular migrants. The International Organisation for Migration played a big role in bringing back Nigerians regularly from Libya. But guess what, we still have stories of people going there. There should be massive awareness, each one talking to the next person; don’t encourage this kind of irregular migration. I was surprised that even on social media, some will say we should still go because the country is so bad. Out there, it is worse. And the government has some things in place that the youths can key into. There are programs. It’s not going to fetch you big money, but you can survive with it.

So we need to talk to young Nigerians. There are opportunities you can key into. It’s tough, we know – Government needs to provide jobs. But we need to also encourage one another that this is a dangerous, torturous journey, and it’s not worth it. If you survived it three years ago, not anymore in today’s age and time.

Illegal Migration: If I Was President Of That Nation, I Will Resign – Onaiyekan


The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has decried the alarming rate of illegal migration by Nigerian youths and called on the Federal Government to make the country habitable.

The prelate, at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday, ahead of the church’s national conference on irregular migration, added that if the country is inhabitable, youths would leave with the mindset that things will be better abroad.

He urged the youths to be patient because they are considered unwanted as illegal migrants.

“If you are an illegal migrant, you have no right wherever you are; you are likely to be manipulated, exploited. You cannot even complain if you are not being treated well, because when you do and go to the police, the first thing they ask you is, where are your papers? If you have no papers, then you have no standing.

“It is a terrible thing to live in a nation where you are considered unwanted, and because of the difficulty of crossing these boundaries, illegal migration leads to trafficking.”

READ ALSO: Be Cautious Of New Tricks By Traffickers, NAPTIP Warns Nigerian Youths

He advised that the best way to curb illegal migration is to make the country habitable, so people can travel at will and with dignity.

“The first remedy is to make Nigeria the home of Nigerians, not that they shouldn’t travel, but do so when and how they want to, freely and with dignity.

“When they now make Nigeria in a way that home becomes uninhabitable, that the youths just want to get out, you hear young people saying that there is no way it won’t be better out there.

“If you live in a nation where your young people are telling you this, then what kind of nation is that?, If I was president of that nation, I will resign,” he maintained.

NEMA Receives Another 120 Returnees From Libya

155 Nigerians Return From Libya
File Photo of Nigerian returnees from Libya.


The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received a fresh batch of 120 stranded Nigerians from Libya.

The returnees who arrived at the MMIA Cargo Wing at about 9:15 pm on Thursday, via AL Buraq Air, were brought back with the help of the International Organisation for Migration.

They were received by the Acting Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Segun Afolayan and other Federal Government agencies.

The returnees comprised 29 female adults, five female children, four female infants, 75 male adults, two male children and five male infants.

According to NEMA, they were brought mainly from three cities of Sabha, Bram Alshati and Oubari.

While welcoming them back, Afolayan asked the returnees to make good use of the second chance afforded by the IOM and God Almighty after surviving the dangers of illegal migration.

one of the returnees, Miss Chisom Johnson, who said she is a professional stylist, narrated her ordeal to Channels Television.

She said, “I was deceived that I would get a better job at Germany as a stylist, there were 20 of us in the team and we were promised that we would fly to Germany but after two weeks, we found ourselves in Niger Republic.

“After three weeks we were in Libya, Madam told all of us that, we can’t cross over but we have to become prostitutes in order to refund her money which was 1.4 million naira.

“I resorted to fervent prayers and pleaded with madam that it is a taboo in our family to prostitute.

“I pleaded with her to give another option. I was asked to work at a restaurant and was able to refund her money.

“Immediately I finished paying her money, I started working on my own to get some money but my madam organised my kidnapped and I was bailed by her with about N650,000 and she doubled the amount and said that I must pay her N1.3 million.

“I paid her by doing all sorts of work.

“I left Nigeria in 2014. I returned with nothing to show for the wasted four years.

“I want to beg those people thinking about travelling illegally to desist. There is nothing better outside Nigeria. Is it the freedom to move around, is it the liberty to engage in work without fear of hoodlums breaking into your house and taking away your sweat because there is no banking system for us? We have to keep our cash with us and the boys invade us to take it away.

“Nigerians should stay and look for better opportunities here please”.

One Dead As 200 Migrants Reach Spain’s Melilla Enclave

File photo: Migrants


A migrant died Sunday after around 200 people scaled a fence to enter Spain’s Melilla enclave from northern Morocco, local Spanish authorities said.

The man was among the migrants who climbed over two barbed wire fences and appeared to have died of a heart attack, they said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, one of the migrants died… it seems from a cardiopulmonary arrest,” the statement added.

Another 100 migrants from the sub-Saharan region had failed in the attempt to enter Melilla, the statement said.

Three migrants were hurt in the incident, it said, without elaborating.

The border between Melilla and Morocco is protected by two parallel fences standing six metres (20 feet) high and topped with barbed wire.

In June, the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez said it intended to remove the barbed wire but has so far not done so.

In late August, the Spanish authorities sent about 100 migrants who had entered Ceuta — a second Spanish enclave in Morocco — back across the border, sparking an outcry from human rights groups.

What We Are Doing To Tackle Illegal Migration – Edo Commissioner


Edo State Commissioner for Youths and Special Duties, Mika Amanokha, has explained how the state government is addressing the issues of illegal migration and human trafficking in the state.

Mr Amanokha gave the explanation during a special programme organised for youths by Channels Television in partnership with Deutsche Welle, The 77 Percent on Thursday in Benin City, the state capital.

“The problem is on the street; the solution cannot be allowed to remain on the street,” he said.

“Since we (the Godwin Obaseki administration) came in, the first thing we needed to do was to own up that this problem exists; what do we do?

“Before now, no government has ever accepted that this problem exists. So the starting point is agreeing that there is a problem and coming together to find solutions to it, and that is what we are doing,” the commissioner explained further.

He described the youths in the state as young people who are intelligent, full of energy, as well as very ambitious.

Amanokha, however, said, “When the space is not enough to accommodate them, they tend to push their way through. They tend to create or look forward to those greener pastures, whether real or not.”

Mr Mika Amanokha


“That is what the human traffickers take advantage of,” he added, stressing that those who dare the Mediterranean or and the desert are strong and not weak people.

The commissioner believes the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking is based on several factors.

According to him, the situation is so serious that even young lawyers who should be in court and doctors that are meant to be attending to patients in the hospital are trapped in foreign countries.

In this regard, he said the state government has come up with various policies to tackle the threat of illegal migration in Edo.

Amanokha said the issues do not require a token approach but a holistic approach – institutional approach.

“One from the institutions, it is very important to note that it is not to say ‘I have gone through this school, I am a graduate of agric’ and at the end of the day you cannot practice agriculture,” he said.


He added that this led to the closure of the Benin Technical College by the government which he said was being remodelled as the government seeks international accreditation for the institution.

The commissioner disclosed that the government also shut down the College of Agriculture, saying the curriculums were being reviewed to reflect the modern day requirements of labour and practice.

He explained that the remodelling was in line with the Federal Government’s drive for self-feeding, saying it would create a lot of employment opportunities for the youths.

Amanokha concluded that these were some of the major steps taken by the government to address illegal migration and human trafficking in the state.

Channels TV, DW Town Hall Debate On Youth Migration


Welcome to the live town hall debate on migration, human trafficking and jobs brought to you by Channels Television and DW.

The issue of human trafficking in Nigeria and its devastating consequences raise some difficult questions.

Will better jobs for young Nigerians help change the narrative?

Stay with us to watch the debate live.

The panelists include the Co-ordinator, Commission for the Support of Female Dignity, Bibiana Emenaha; Senior Special Assistant to the Edo State Governor on Anti-human Trafficking, Okoduwa Solomon; the Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties for the Edo State Government; and former member of the Student Union government (UNIBEN), Oguche Divine.

APC Defends Buhari, Rejects Criticism Of Comments On Illegal Migration

Ekiti Election: PDP Claims It Has Evidence ‘INEC Doctored Results’


The All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments on the illegal migration of Nigerians.

In a statement issued on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the APC accused the PDP of attempting to politicise the issue.

The statement read in part, “The All Progressives Congress (APC) strongly condemns the unfortunate attempt by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to politicise President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement on the illegal migration and trafficking of Nigerians during the visit of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

“The PDP in its typical insensitive and unguarded stance on matters affecting the country is exploiting an issue that borders on the lives of Nigerians (mostly youth).”

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told the German Chancellor that his administration is not in support of illegal migration.

He also stated that those involved in the act were doing so at their own risk, a comment which sparked criticism from the PDP.


PDP Faults Buhari Over Comments On Illegal Migrants
We Do Not Support Illegal Migration, Buhari Tells Merkel


The party accused the President of being insensitive and also failing to address the root causes of the issue.

The APC, however, stated that the Buhari administration has continued to make deliberate efforts to minimize the menace as well as address the root causes.

“Through support of international agreements/efforts towards curbing illegal migration, repatriation of stranded Nigerian migrants and addressing root causes encouraging illegal migration of Nigerians, the President Buhari administration has demonstrated the political will to check the scourge.

“The pains and suffering most Nigerians go through with the hope of reaching Europe has been well reported.

“Through relevant agencies, the President Buhari administration has continued to mitigate the migration crisis, particularly in Libya and the Mediterranean Sea,” the party said.

It also added that while the Federal Government had earlier given a directive for Nigerians to be evacuated and returned home safely from Libya and other locations, several programmes were also put in place to enable the returnees start new and productive lives.

The APC also said, “With unemployment and poverty identified as one of the root causes of illegal migration, the President Buhari administration is using initiatives like N-Power, Bank of Industry Youth Entrepreneurship Support, Central Bank of Nigeria support schemes, Agriculture, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country”.

700 Separated Children Still In US Custody After Deadline

Activists rally against the Trump administration’s immigration policies outside the New York City offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), July 26, 2018 in New York City. 


The US government said Thursday that hundreds of families it broke up at the border with Mexico have not been reunited as a court-ordered deadline to return all children to their parents elapsed.

A federal judge in California had ordered that all eligible migrant families be brought back together by 6:00 pm (22:00 GMT) and officials said in a court filing that 1,442 children aged five and older had been reunited with their families.

“The reunification plan outlined to the court is proceeding, and is expected to result in the reunification of all class members found eligible for reunification at this time by the court’s July 26, 2018 deadline,” the government said.

A further 378 children had already been released under other “appropriate circumstances,” the filing said, but more than 700 children remain in custody.

The government said the deadline had been met, however, because those families were ineligible, either because family ties have not been confirmed, or the parent has a criminal record, a communicable disease or cannot be found.

Canada Looks To Stem Illegal Migration From Nigeria



Canada is trying to curb the number of asylum seekers from Nigeria who are flooding into Canada via the United States, officials said Monday.

About 2,500 migrants, mostly Nigerian nationals, entered Canada illegally in April, bringing the total so far this year to more than 7,300.

They crossed on foot along a forest trail from New York state to Quebec province, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen told a news conference.

He will travel to Nigeria in the coming days to press the issue. At Ottawa’s request, US authorities have also recently tightened their visa rules for Nigerians to try to prevent tourists from flying to the US and then hopping across the border to file Canadian refugee claims.

An average of 70-80 migrants per day have been making the trip of late, said Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

Nearly 21,000 border jumpers were intercepted by federal police in 2017 and allowed to file a refugee claim.

“Just over 90 percent of irregular migrants do not meet our criteria (for asylum) and they will have to leave Canada,” Garneau said, adding that 200 currently face imminent deportation after their refugee claims were rejected.

The first arrivals in 2016 were mostly Haitians who faced repatriation at the end of US temporary special protections granted after storms battered their desperately poor island nation.

But the wave expanded last year to also include Djiboutian, Eritrean, Nigerian, Pakistani, Sudanese, Syrian, Turkish and Yemeni nationals, among others.

The border jumping started with the election of US President Donald Trump, who promised to expel more than 11 million undocumented migrants.

Creation Of Jobs Panacea To Illegal Migration – Atiku


Former Vice President , Atiku Abubakar , has said that creating better opportunities will help check the rise in illegal migration of Nigerians.

He stated this in Abuja while marking the United Nations International Migrants Day on December 18, 2017.

“The chances of a young person with a job and opportunity at home taking a suicidal flight in search of a better life will become an exception and not the rule,” Atiku said.

Using the recent case of slave trading in Libya as an example, where over 400 Nigerians were subjected to inhumane treatments, Atiku in a statement from his media office, called on African leaders to create an environment conducive for economic progress and employment generation.

He, therefore, stated that to prevent a recurrence of such, the Federal and state governments ought to discourage potential migrants through public enlightenment about the implications of illegal overseas travels.

In achieving this, the PDP chief also urged the international community to ensure that the international code of treatment of migrants is strictly adhered to.

Buhari Vows To Reduce Illegal Migration

Buhari Sends Military After Bandits In Zamfara
File photo

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to reduce the number of Nigerians heading for Europe illegally and stem the tide of illegal migration by Nigerians.

The President said he will put a stop to the action of Nigerians leaving the country through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea by providing basic social amenities such as education, healthcare, and food security at home.

Buhari, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in an interactive session with members of the Nigerian Community in Cote D’ Ivoire, on the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit.

READ ALSO: We Will Bring All Nigerians Stranded In Libya Back Home – Buhari

“For people to cross the Sahara desert and Mediterranean through shanty boats… we will try and keep them at home. But anybody who died in the desert and Mediterranean without documents; to prove that he is a Nigerian, there is absolutely nothing we can do,” he said.

Reacting to a viral video on the sale of Africans in Libya, President Buhari said it is appalling that “some Nigerians (in the footage) were being sold like goats for few dollars in Libya.’

“After 43 years of Gadhafi, why are they recruiting so many people from the Sahel including Nigerians? All they learned was how to shoot and kill. They didn’t learn to be electricians, plumbers or any other trade,’’ he said.

President Buhari speaking further to the Nigerians in the Diaspora said that there is ‘‘good news from home’’ in the area of security, economy, and anti-corruption.

“We are not doing too badly in trying to secure the country, improve the economy and deal with corruption. We are doing our best at all levels including security. It is absolute madness for people to blow others up in markets, churches, and mosques. No religion advocates violence. Justice is the basic thing all religions demand and you can’t go wrong if you do it,’’ he said.

On food security, the President said that his vision of repositioning Nigeria as a food-secure nation is on course as the country is on the verge of attaining food security.

He attributed the development to positive agricultural reform programmes and bumper harvest occasioned by good weather.

NAPTIP Partner NGOs Against Human Trafficking, Illegal Migration

Good Governance, Poverty ReductionThe National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic In Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP), is seeking collaborations with relevant stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration.

The Zonal Commander of NAPTIP in Benin city, the Edo state capital, Mr Odita Ebenezer, made this known while meeting with members of a non-governmental organization, the Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Development and Re-integration, at his office in Benin city.

The meeting between NAPTIP and the NGO focused on ways of intensifying public awareness on the dangers of human trafficking and its negative impact on the society.