Eavesdropper: Nigerians in Saudi detention centres return home


It’s becoming alarmingly worrisome as more Nigerians are being deported for diverse acts overseas. By the time you are ready this, hopefully, some Nigerians in Saudi Arabia detained in detention centres would have arrived in the country. A video went viral recently showing some Nigerians in Saudi Arabia in a dehumanising state.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that that 802 Nigerians would return  from the country between Thursday and Friday. The citizens, held at various detention centres over migration issues, would be received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, by officials of the ministry. As expected amid the raging pandemic, the returnees would be quarantined at the Federal Capital Territory Hajj camp for 14 days in line with the COVID-19 protocols.

Before this latest one, there were deportations of Nigerians from several countries on account of breaching their host countries immigration laws including engaging in criminal acts. The United Kingdom deported 35 Nigerians for committing immigration-related offences in the country.

The deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos. Comprising 30 males and five females, they were brought back aboard a chartered Titanic Airways aircraft with registration number: G-POWO.

The Federal Government last year said about 825 Nigerians were deported from Ghana in one year. The revelation came against the backdrop of the imposition of $1 million trade levy on Nigerian traders in Ghana and the shut down of their business premises by the Ghanaian authorities. Also, 41 Nigerians were deported from seven European countries for committing immigration-related offences. They were deported from Australia, Switzerland, Hungary, The Netherland, Germany, Norway and Denmark.

The deportees comprising 35 male and six female came into the country aboard the Privilege Style aircraft with registration mark EC-120. At a time, the United Kingdom and Australia jointly deported 40 Nigerians alleged to have committed various offences in both countries. The deportees comprising 33 males and seven females arrived in the Hajj Camp area of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport with two chartered aircraft.

Thirty-six of the deportees were flown into the country in a chartered aircraft with registration number ZTA -4741. There are several instances of the deportation of Nigerians from overseas and the situation should be a concern to all state actors. Eavesdropper has always noted that Nigerians are only concerned about a good life and because things are becoming at home, they go abroad to do all sorts of dirty jobs to survive. Stories of some ladies lured to the Middle  East for jobs only for them to get there and realise that they have been sold into prostitution. The government has had to frantically move to ensure their return home. This situation can continue like this. Government at all levels should join hands to make the country work. It is usually surprising to Eavesdropper that Nigeria with its huge potential should not continue subjecting its citizens to the harrowing experiences they go through while seeking better lives overseas. Eavesdropper is not saying that the citizens don’t have the share of the blame in what the country has turned into, but politicians have a lot to do being the ones who make policies. Genuine efforts should be made to let Nigeria rub shoulders with super countries of the world and take its rightful position. Corruption which is eating deep into the fabric of society should be fought to a standstill. People should be made to pay for the sins committed. It’s laughable that when people siphon public funds they are healthy but suddenly become sick when the long arm of the law grabs them. This nonsensical attitude must stop if genuinely we want to move the country forward. There are several issues facing the country’s unity and they should not be overlooked because some greedy fellows feel that they can continue the current lopsided structure for selfish reasons. Nigeria needs to be restructured. The signs are there and it is clear that mutual distrust has clothed virtually everything in the country. The injustice and nepotism in the land cannot be quantified. Things are in a terrible shape and it is right to quickly seek solutions before things get out of hand. Killings and kidnappings are increasing every day and it appears that no one is bothered.

Eavesdropper may advise those currently seeking greener pastures outside the country to obey the laws of their host countries and not engage in activities that can undermine the image of the country. That is the proper thing for any migrant in any country to do. But also, Nigerian government needs to address the issues confronting the country. It’s mind-boggling that over 60 years after attaining independence the country is still learning to crawl no thanks to bad leadership. Leadership has been the challenge confronting the country because with a good leader everything can be done. Time is running out and it’s vital for those running the country to know that Nigeria with its abundant resources has gone beyond the trial and error process. Leaders must come to face governance prepared. It’s not enough to desire power and start experimenting when other countries are moving at a jet speed. Nigeria deserves more than it’s getting. This is the reason why everyone should rise up to the challenge and save the country from its current pitiable state. It’s not too much to ask. It’s the right thing to do.

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