By Patience Danjuma
The Nigerian Immigration Services (NIS) has warned Nigerians not to travel to Germany and other foreign countries illegally, stressing that 90 per cent of illegal immigrants seeking asylum status were regularly rejected by European countries.
A Deputy Comptroller of Immigration, Sadat Hassan, gave the warning recently in Lagos at a seminar organised by the Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN).
She urged Nigerians to secure the required legal paperwork before attempting to migrate to Germany and other European countries, as it was not worth risking one’s life on a dangerous journey only to be deported.
The chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Rita Orji , also pointed out that Europe and Asia have recently experienced an increase in illegal immigrants from Nigeria.
Many migrants from Nigeria, she said, were women who were sexually abused by their sponsors and were compelled to engage in prostitution.
Orji added that most of the Nigerians repatriated from foreign countries, especially Libya, were HIV/AIDS positive.
“Some of those that voluntarily returned from Libya came back with various sexually transmitted diseases, including Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Most of our ladies are used as sexual machines in Europe and other parts of the world,” she said.
In some circumstances, illegal immigrants have their organs sold on black markets.
“Kidneys and livers of illegal immigrants are being given out to sick people in China and other countries,” she said.
The lawmaker therefore urged Nigerians emigrating from the country to have proper knowledge about their mission abroad in order to avoid being taken advantage of by their sponsors.
She also advised parents and family members not to pressure young Nigerians to move abroad, as such pressure can cause migrants to seek illegal and dangerous methods of immigration.
“Some think it’s a class status for their wards to be abroad. Some families will sell their lands and other valuables for their children to travel abroad by all means. Most of them don’t even know why they are going aboard,” she explained.
“When they eventually get there, they are subjected to various degrees of hardship, which they can’t resist because of their [illegal] status. Some of them are lied against by the security agencies in those countries, but there is no one to defend them.
“Where are Nigerians going? What are they going to do in those countries? Some parents will sell their properties and assets in order to search for greener pastures abroad. It’s a wrong notion,” she added.
The project director of MEPN, Femi Awoniyi, disclosed that there were at least 12,000 Nigerians in Germany awaiting deportation as their asylum claims have been rejected by the German government.
Quoting a figure provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Awoniyi said that at least 2,500 migrants have perished in the Mediterranean Sea while many others were believed to have died traveling across the Sahara desert or in transit countries such as Libya.
He added that most of the victims of illegal traffickers were Nigerians.
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