Govt warns against wrongful deportation of Nigerians

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Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga AshiruFOREIGN missions in Nigeria yesterday got a food for thought from their host – the Federal Government.

They were warned against the deportation of Nigerians without following the appropriate institutional and legal framework.

Foreign Affairs Minister Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru conveyed the message at a parley with the Diplomatic Corps in Abuja.

According to him, the Federal Government has nothing against deportation provided it is done with dignity and decency.

He also told the Foreign Ambassadors and High Commissioners to urgently provide special reception halls for visa applicants, decrying the way Nigerians queue up in the rain and in the sun for visas.

His words: “Let me state here that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not opposed to the deportation of Nigerians who no longer have the rights to remain in the countries from where they are being deported, especially after they might have exhausted all local remedies.

“We, however, insist that this deportation should be done within the appropriate institutional and legal framework and with dignity and decency. We have indeed signed MOUs with some countries of the world and are ready to take similar actions with interested countries.”

While urging Nigerians all over the world to be law abiding and not abuse the hospitality of their hosts, he said: “It is a cardinal principle of Nigeria’s foreign policy to promote and protect the welfare of Nigerians. We will not abdicate this responsibility to our citizens all over and in all circumstances.”

On the need for conducive environment for visas applicants in the country, he said: “Missions that have not erected special reception halls for visa applicants should do so, in order that Nigerian visa applicants will not have to queue in the rain and hot sun when they apply for visas at embassies.”

He also accused some foreign missions in the country of breaching the proper channel of communication with the Federal Government.

Ashiru said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains the official channel of communication between government and accredited missions. My ministry will ensure that requests for assistance are treated expeditiously. I shall therefore take a deem view of missions who flout this established channel of communication.”

The minister also disclosed the country has received trade and economic delegations from different countries, urging them to continue in that spirit for the mutual benefit of the populace.

He condoled with the government and people of Italy and United Kingdom (UK) over the death of their kidnapped nationals during a rescue attempt as he called for the support of international communities in the fight against terrorism since Nigeria has decided to tackle the challenge.

Tanzania High Commissioner in Nigeria Dr Msuya Mangachi who spoke on behalf of the envoys, agreed the rights of foreigners should not be trampled upon. He, however, insisted such foreigners must obey the laws of their host countries.