Xenophobic Attacks: Nigerian Embassies Abroad Are Handicapped – Ukeje

Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Relations, Honourable Nnena Ukeje, has stressed that the security of lives and properties of Nigerians is guaranteed under the constitution of Nigeria.

Channels Television’s Network Africa met with Honourable Nnena Ukeje and she shared the country’s constant efforts at implementing the laws to protect Nigerians living abroad.

Since the recent killing of a Nigerian in India, there has been a lot of focus on the welfare of Nigerians living abroad. More worrisome for many has been the alleged reluctance of the Indian authorities to apprehend the perpetrators of the act.

Hon. Ukeje in this interview stated that Nigeria already has the right laws under the Nigerian Constitution to ensure that the lives and properties of Nigerians living in Nigeria are well protected. However, it is the responsibility of the Nigerian Missions abroad to enact these laws towards ensuring that Nigerians living around the world, do not get into danger and when they do, they can be well protected.

She however added that “we do not have the powers to investigate or to bring to book as it were, crimes in other countries, what we do is ensure that that happens. So the Nigerian embassies are a little handicapped.”

The perceived vulnerability of Nigeria’s peacekeeping missions to other countries, and its effects on Nigerians living in those countries and other countries also came under the spotlight.

Enjoy the interview.

Nigerian Army Deploys Another 800 Peacekeepers To Darfur

The Nigerian Army is set to deploy another 800 officers to Darfur, Sudan in continuation of its peacekeeping mission.

Addressing the 322 battalion troop at the end of their four weeks pre-deployment training at the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre Jaji, North West Nigeria, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 Division Nigerian Army, Major General Ahmed Jibrin advised members of the Nigerian contingent to live above board and shun acts capable of tarnishing the image of the country.

The GOC warned the contingent to exhibit high sense of professionalism and also respect the cultural heritage of the people of Sudan, adding that the Nigerian army will not condone any form professional misconduct from its officers.

Commandant of the centre, Major General Salihu Uba said the training was in cognisance of the Chief of Army Staff’s vision of injecting quality army peacekeepers into global and regional peace support operations.

He said the training was to equip the troop to be capable of confronting the complex multidimensional challenges of contemporary peace keeping and peace support environment, adding that Nigeria will continue sending troops   on peace keeping mission in war affected countries until peace and stability return to Africa and beyond.

700 personnel of the Nigerian Army who had undergone a four-week pre-deployment training at the centre were deployed to Liberia three months ago.

Since 1960 when it inducted the first peace contingent to Congo, the Nigerian Army has since then been contributing in several peacekeeping operations at continental and regional levels.

Nigerian Military Contingent Depart To Mali

First batch of 80 Nigerian military contingent to the African led international peace support mission in Mali have departed to Mali and the Chief of Army Staff has claimed the deployment enhance the federal government fight against Boko Haram.

The soldiers departed at exactly 6PM, Thursday evening.

They were airlifted by a Nigerian Air Force cargo plane to Mali through the Kaduna international airport.

The remaining 826 are to be airlifted from tomorrow.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, said the contribution of Nigeria in the restoration of peace in Mali will complement the federal government’s efforts in the fight against Boko Haram insurgence in the country.

General Ihejirika who was addressing the first Nigerian battalion to African led international peace support mission in Mali, said the crisis in Mali which has become a global concern has attracted intervention from the international community.

He said that some of the members of Boko Haram sect had undergone training in Mali.

A total of 906 personnel of the Nigerian army had undergone a four week pre-deployment training at the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre Jaji, Kaduna where they were trained on various skills ahead of the deployment.

The Nigerian soldiers will be joining troops from other countries, as part of an African force to fight against Islamist militants in the West African nation seeking to seize and overthrow the government.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ihejirika charged the soldiers to stick to the rules of their engagement if they must succeed in the enormous task, which is necessary to aid the fight against Boko Haram in the country.

He also commissioned operational vehicles for the peace mission in Mali.

Peace Enforcers

The commandant of the centre, Major General John Zaruwa, noted that the training was designed to suit the operational environment while expressing confidence that the battalion will live up to expectation.

“They are not peacekeepers, they are peace enforcers. And they are trained to use all means including force to restore peace in Mali” he explained.

The Nigerian contingent are going to an unfamiliar terrain in Mali to face a versatile adversary who observers say are determined, well-equipped and well-trained.

In the light of this, many have raised fears about the adequacy of preparations towards the welfare of the families they have left behind.

But the Chief of Army Staff said there is no cause for alarm as he wished the soldiers good luck while in Mali. He also reminded them to be disciplined and make the country proud