Consular Advisory

December 11, 2013

The price of migrating without genuine intentions (2)

By Vera Samuel  Anyagafu

As concerned Nigerians continue to make passionate appeal to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan for speedy intervention on issues concerning Nigerians who are serving various jail terms in China prisons, the Nigerian Ambassador to China, Ambassador Wali on his part, has continued to warn immigrants against fake documentation.

Vanguard Consular Advisory gathered that shortly after the recent visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to China, Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of China, Ambassador Wali told pressmen that in many situations than not, the issue of improper and fake documentations have become a major challenge to the embassy in tackling cases of imprisonment of its citizenry in Chinese prisons.

The Ambassador explained that these immigrants submit false identification and those jailed only become manifest after they must have been sentenced, for the fact that they have migrated with false identity, which may have declared them ‘Ghanaians’ or ‘Malawians’.

He also noted that those jailed found it extremely difficult getting the attention of the Nigerian embassy in solving their respective problems.

Although Amb. Wali was said to have expressed concern over the ugly situation, he was quick in urging all those who wish to migrate to several countries abroad to ensure that they declare their presence to the missions in their various countries of abode, so as to enable the embassies have well documented information about their itinerary in and about countries they have migrated to.

While also calling for a proper orientation and or perhaps sensitization of Nigerian youths back here in Nigeria, to desist from indulging in false application processes, a source who simply identified herself as Eni, is challenging the Nigerian government to ensure that the embassies are not left alone to handle the magnitude of the problems involving a great number of Nigerians in foreign prisons.

Her words, “I am challenging the Federal government of Nigeria to assist our embassies in different countries abroad in the fight to cut down on the number of Nigerians who are serving jail terms in different countries abroad, especially in China.

Although, the problem is not peculiar to Nigerians in China alone, I particularly feel sad with the magnitude of the problem which is now beyond Nigerian embassies alone.

This is now a national issue, and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the image of Nigerians abroad is restored, through consistence orientation of young Nigerians in familiarizing them with the laws, rules and regulations of countries they intend migrating to.” She also explained that when these youths are properly educated, the country would have quickly succeeded in averting some of the disgusting experiences, which unbelievably, mar the future of young Nigerians.

Still peeved with the ugly situation, she therefore urged the youth to endeavor in various levels of capabilities in ensuring that they avert incidences that could land them in prisons while in foreign countries. This, she said, would enable them develop a mindset that would make them have a rethink on the inevitable consequences of sojourning to foreign countries in an event whereby they have no concrete arrangement. Her position was shared by Udoka who said, “The government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan should buckle up efforts in ensuring that it establishes a mechanism, which would hinder the processes of traveling out of the country, without proper commitment, through provision of essential infrastructures.”

He also pointed out that “Nigerians, for quest of bourgeois life, get trapped into drug-related crimes and fake identity, and unfortunately, over 80 per cent Nigerians in foreign countries are languishing in foreign countries prisons and have been refused judgment.

Although the situation is embarrassing, I feel that owing to China-Nigeria relationship in various sectors of both countries economies, Nigerians should be given first consideration when it comes to issues relating to faulting the law. In real terms, one should expect the Chinese government to accord Nigerian mission the respect of informing them of any criminal activity involving a Nigerian, before dragging the offender into prison. After all, one would not be wrong to ascertain that Nigerians take the lead in growing China’s economy,” stressing that, “ the benefits of cutting down on malicious treatment to Nigerians by the Chinese are enormous, as it will further open doors for more investment opportunities.

To this light therefore, it has become a matter of utmost priority for the Federal government of Nigeria and other responsible bodies to map out plans that will properly address youth migration and ways to retrieve those who are serving jail terms abroad, for a better bi-lateral co-operation.