According to Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa, chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), more than a hundred Nigerians recently released from prison in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have resorted to blackmail against the Federal Government.
Dabiri-Erewa cautioned the stranded ex-convicts and other Nigerians in the UAE not to make matters worse by resorting to media blackmail.
In response to a social media blog post on Thursday titled “300 Nigerians abandoned in Dubai as NIDCOM, NAPTIP, Foreign Affairs reduce evacuation effort,” Abdur-Rahman Balogun, spokesman for NiDCOM Chairman, made the following statement.
He lamented that some Nigerians still fell victim to this unlawful behaviour despite several warnings by the Federal Government of Nigeria through its relevant authorities on implications of illegal migration to the UAE and other countries.
The Federal Government had authorised the evacuation of over 300 Nigerians who had become stuck in the UAE due to the diplomatic efforts of its residents. Unfortunately, many of individuals who have been impacted have not been entirely helpful and have refused to adhere to the established protocols.
“Investigations also found that over a hundred Nigerians who had served various jail sentences (for narcotics to credit card frauds, robberies, etc.) unexpectedly landed at the holding centres, demanding of the Nigerian embassy in Dubai to “quickly “bring them back. Theirs are the most resounding voices so far.
“Dabiri-Erewa claimed that some Nigerians, rather than following the orders of the Nigerian consulate in Dubai, were busy pursuing a media blackmail of the Federal Government and the UAE government. The media pressure, she said, would only make a bad situation even worse, since the rules governing such cases could not be ignored.
She said, “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, and so on.”
She urged everyone impacted to follow the laws and regulations of the United Arab Emirates and the Nigeria Consulate in Dubai, and to wait for further word from the mission’s representatives, who have been making regular visits to the detention facility.