Experts Seek Protection For Nigerians Abroad


International Relations experts on Monday urged the Federal Government to urgently intensify efforts toward ensuring diplomatic protection of Nigerians in different parts of the world.

The experts, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) decried the increasing number of Nigerians in foreign prisons, adding that the situation was “unhealthy” for the country’s image.

The experts further said that government should endeavour to set up websites, radio and television programmes to enlighten Nigerians travelling abroad.

Professor Ogaba Oche, Director of Research at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) said that closer relationship between Nigerians and their missions in destination countries, would definitely, reduce the ugly trend.

“That we have many Nigerians languishing in foreign prisons does not portend a good image for this country. It shows that Nigerians are economic immigrants to a large extent.

“We need to give ourselves adequate advisory like the United States Government does to American citizens abroad,” he said.

The Professor of International Research said that government, through its foreign missions should always ensure the protection of Nigerians across the globe.

Dr. Fred Agwu, an Associate Professor of Research and Studies at NIIA, said that though it was a global phenomenon, government should strengthen its effort of protecting rights of Nigerians anywhere.

Agwu advised Nigerians to always liaise with their foreign missions, to reduce incidence of arrest and detention.

Ambassador Mohammed Ibrahim, Under-Secretary of Economic and Consular Matters in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that many Nigerians in foreign prisons were being detained for different alleged immigration offences.

Ibrahim said that the Ministry was working seriously to verify the true position of many Nigerians in foreign prisons.

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