SUNDAY ODE, Abuja
Director General of the Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said hotlines would be provided for Nigerians in diaspora soon to enable them lodge their complaints for official consideration.
Dabiri-Erewa spoke at the weekend in an interaction with State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Diaspora Commission boss who doubles as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Matters said she was in the Villa to thank the President for establishing the Commission .
She said the London incident, where an aggrieved Nigerian vandalized the Nigeria High Commission’s property in the United Kingdom, was unfortunate.
Asked whether she still doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on diaspora matters, Dabiri-Erewa retorted that it was up to the President to decide.
On the activities of her Commission, she said “You know the UK incident of the Nigerian who damaged some vehicles at the High Commission. We have made it clear that that incident is unacceptable. There is no reason why he should damage and be so violent. At the same time, we do admit that there are some challenges in some of our embassies while there have been large improvements in some of them. We will be having a stakeholders meeting in particular in the UK with the Nigerian community, the High Commission, the immigration, to look at whatever the challenges are so that they can be resolved, because I know that there are some challenges that are resolvable. So, we will be engaging more with the diaspora.
Subsequently, we are going to have hotlines for Nigerians in diaspora so that they can contact the commission and we can look into whatever challenges they are facing.
Of course we have the issue of Ghana, the Professor whose appointment was terminated by his university because of the tape he released. Well, it turned out that he didn’t actually record, I mean that was a private meeting with Nigerians in Ghana, it was like a private discussion.
And he also claimed that part of the tape was actually doctored. The matter is been looked into by the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana and I believed those matters will be resolved subsequently.
But right now we are dealing with the issue of attacking Nigerian traders in Ghana. We have the assurances of the President of Ghana through the high commission here and ours in Ghana that Nigerian traders will be protected. So we are also going to be emphasizing that the life of one Nigerian means a lot to us anywhere in the world. And the issues happening around neighbouring countries like Togo.
In Togo, we have Nigerians attacked. One woman alleged that she was raped and she turned out to be his girlfriend. We have also seen the Togolese Ambassador and made it clear that the lives of Nigerians must be protected anywhere they are because we take care of others here and we deserve to be taken care of. If a Nigerian commits a crime, let him pay the penalty for it as a punishment, but you cannot penalise a nation and its citizens. So we will be working more on that as we appealed to Nigerians to be good ambassadors wherever they find themselves.”
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