Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has mocked Nigerians who illegally travelled to the UAE and are stranded there, saying they have been warned not to seek greener pastures.
Dabiri-Erewa also added that these Nigerians should not to make an already bad case worse by resorting to media blackmail.
In a statement by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, in response to a news headline that reads “300 Nigerians abandoned in Dubai as NIDCOM, NAPTIP, Foreign Affairs relax evacuation effort” on some social media blogs on Wednesday, Dabiri-Erewa said, “despite several warnings by the Federal Government of Nigeria through its relevant agencies on consequences of illegal migration to the UAE and other countries, it was regrettable that some Nigerians still found themselves as victims of this irregular act.
“In line with its citizens diplomacy, the Federal Government had approved the evacuation of over 300 Nigerians stranded in the UAE. Regrettably, many of those affected have not been totally 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.
Dabiri-Erewa said 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.