The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has cautioned stranded citizens in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, to stop blackmailing their home and host countries.
In a statement on Thursday signed by NIDCOM spokesman, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the agency said many of the stranded persons are illegal migrants who have been jailed for several crimes in their host country.
“In line with its citizens’ diplomacy, the Federal Government approved the evacuation of over 300 Nigerians stranded in the UAE. Regrettably, many of those affected have not been cooperative as they refused to follow the laid down procedures.
“Investigations also revealed that over 100 Nigerians who had served various jail sentences (ranging from drugs to credit card frauds, robberies, etc.) suddenly landed at the holding centres, demanding of the Nigerian consulate in Dubai to ‘immediately bring them back’. Their voices have been the loudest,” the statement read in part.
The statement quoted NIDCOM Chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, as saying, “Rather than complying with the directives of the Nigerian consulate in Dubai, some Nigerians were busy pursuing a media blackmail of the Federal Government as well as the UAE government. This media blackmail, she said, will make an already bad case, worse, noting that rules on such cases would not be circumvented.
“Recalling several warnings to Nigerians, particularly on the zero tolerance of the UAE for the consequences of flouting their rules, she added that the allegation that Nigerians were abandoned in Dubai is completely untrue and misleading as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Mission have been working assiduously with the UAE authorities to assist over 300 Nigerians stranded in the country for various reasons, ranging from overstay, lost passports, lack of documentation especially in the case of infants, to pending cases with the Emirati Police.
“She advised Nigerians so affected to comply with the laid down rules and regulations as stipulated by the UAE and the Nigeria Consulate in Dubai, and await further communication from officials of the mission who have constantly visited them at the holding centre.”