by Rachel Ogbu
The Nigerian Immigration Service has deported about 147 citizens of Niger Republic and Chad illegally resident in Akure, Ondo State capital.
The move is believed to control the high rate of crime being allegedly perpetrated by illegal immigrants in the country.
The Ondo State Comptroller, Sola Sessi, said the presence of the aliens constituted security threat plus they didn’t have valid visas and also lived in Akure without any source of livehood.
Sessi acknowledged the fact that the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) allows easy entry of citizens to countries within the region, but said those deported had used illegal roots to gain entry into the country which was unacceptable.
“These people are Nigeriens and Chadians who have been staying in Akure after passing through unauthorised routes into the country. They are now living in Akure at popular Hausa areas in the state and doing nothing to keep their bodies and souls. Those arrested have no means of livehood,” he sai.
“We believe that their continuous stay in the state may constitute public nuisance, whereby they may be approached by criminals in order to perpetrate evil.
“As we all know, insecurity is the major challenge in the country, particularly in the northern region. These are the people normally approached by Boko Haram to commit suicide bombing and other criminal activities.
“They will be returned to their various countries because being under the same ECOWAS body does not give room for illegal entry to one another’s nation.
“Let them return to their various countries and get their documents. Until then, they can come back and stay in Nigeria.”
The Citizens reports:
The illegal aliens were arrested during an operation carried out by men of the Immigration Service to fish out people that were staying in the state without.
The 147 aliens were apprehended at the Sabo, Shasha and Timber Garage areas.
The deported immigrants were alleged to have entered the country without following the normal procedure
Sessi said their continuous stay in the state could constitute public nuisance, as they could be approached by criminals to join them in doing evil.
Sessi said such operation would now be carried out regularly in order to fight crimes in the society.
He denied insinuations that the operation was launched as a result of the recent attack on Akure Olokuta Prison by unknown gunmen.
Meanwhile, two of the illegal immigrants were accused of attacking officials of the Immigration Service during the operation.
The duo were accused to have instigated other aliens to attack the officials and attempted to snatch their rifles.