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Reps give Turkey authority 7days ultimatum to release 50 detained Nigerian students

By Emman Ovuakporie and Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA-THE House of Representatives yesterday gave the Government of Turkey 7days ultimatum to release 50 Nigerian students detained over alleged terrorist acts.

The house also urged the federal government to explore all diplomatic options to secure the release of the students arrested in Turkey.

Towards this direction, the House in plenary mandated its committees on Diaspora, Education, Foreign Affairs and Interior to investigate the circumstances surrounding their arrest and take necessary actions to check the ugly trend.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a mukhtars meeting at the presidential palace on November 26, 2015 in Ankara. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 26 said Turkey does not buy any oil from Islamic State, insisting that his country's fight against the jihadist group is "undisputed". AFP PHOTO
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a mukhtars meeting at the presidential palace on November 26, 2015 in Ankara. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 26 said Turkey does not buy any oil from Islamic State, insisting that his country’s fight against the jihadist group is “undisputed”. AFP PHOTO

The call was sequel to a motion under matters of national importance promoted by Rep Solomon Maren who drew the attention of his colleagues to untold hardship, extortion, torture and death which Nigerian students go through as they seek for education abroad.

Maren noted that since the failed Turkey coup of July 15th, there has been a clamp down on 2099 schools in Turkey, over their alleged involvement in the botched coup. The Turkish government had also come had on Institutions associated Islamic Schilar Fetullar Gulen linked with the coup, and had also called on the federal government to shot down 17 Turkish schools in Nigeria for alleged links with the Hizmet movement that also masterminded the coup.

He went memory lane, recalling how a Nigerian student was murdered in Dubai, another Julie bedridden in Italy out of torture and maltreatment and another student killed in Malaysia because his travel documents could not be updated on time.

Supporting the motion, Rep Nnanna Igbokwe (PDP Imo) called for the consolidation of the bill with a previous bill which called for an investigation of the involvement of Turkish schools in Nigeria in the coup, adding that Turkey came hard on Nigerian students because the country failed to close down Turkish Institutions in Nigeria as was recommended by the Turkish government.

Igbokwe further disclosed that according to the Ministry of Education, Turkish International is a privately owned, just as he queried Corporate Affairs Commission CAC, for allowing a private entity register an International entity.

In his contribution, Rep. Jagaba Adams Jagaba (PDP, Kaduna), said the House should weigh in on the crisis with caution.

Jagaba suggested that it would be counterproductive for the lawmakers to pre-empt the actions of the executive which has the traditional duty of diplomatic relations with foreign nations.

‎Also contributing to the motion,Rep Rotimi Agunsoye (APC, Lagos) said Nigeria should openly reprimand Turkey for its actions and demand formal apology as the motion was unanimously passed on voice vote following a question by presiding Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

It was equally discovered that out of 120 countries that have students in Turkey, only Nigerian students were subjected to this humiliation.


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