Nigeria doesn’t tolerate illegal migration, Buhari tells German Chancellor

Nigeria doesn’t tolerate illegal migration, Buhari tells German Chancellor
August 31 15:14 2018

By Ahmed Idris

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday told German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, that Nigeria would continue to discourage its citizens from embarking on illegal migration to Europe, saying those stuck in foreign countries would be repatriated back home.

The President stated this at a joint press briefing with the visiting German Chancellor, after the closed door meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the federal government has so far repatriated over 3,000 illegal migrants who were stuck in Libya on their way to Europe.

He said: “I’m against those countrymen and women that illegally find their ways to other countries other than Nigeria. But I believe you know that the ECOWAS Protocol includes free movement of persons and goods and services.

“But for those going to Europe we are not as an administration in agreement with those Nigerians who try to defy the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean because they feel there are greener pasture there, whether they are pre-paid, free or not. It would be recalled that we repatriated about 3,000 Nigerians that were stuck in Libya on their way to Europe.

“You also must have read in the newspapers or seen in the television stations the number of Nigerians lost in the Mediterranean,’’ he said.

President Buhari further warned that the government would continue to repatriate those who refused to listen to its advice, adding that illegal migrants were putting their lives in danger.

“So, the position of this administration is very clear, we do not support anything illegal, and anybody who feels that his country does not value, does not offer him what he should be offered as a citizen and decided to defy the desert and the Mediterranean is doing it at his own risk. But if found stuck in Libya or anywhere between his final destination and  Nigeria, we will bring him back home.”

In her remarks, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who spoke through an interpreter, said Germany considers Nigeria a very important country in Africa, hence the need to maintain a cordial relationship.

She commended Nigeria’s success in producing food that is needed in the country which necessitated the important cooperation in agriculture and manufacturing of Volkswagen cars in Nigeria.

She said Germany would provide educational assistance that would increase the number of Nigerian students studying in the country.

She said 12,000 Nigerians were currently studying in Germany through scholarships and that the German government intends to increase the number.

On the 2019 elections, Merkel said she discussed the importance of free and fair elections with the President, stressing credible polls would impact positively on the nation’s youths.