DabiriI-Erewa condemns deportation of 215 Nigeria fishermen from Gabon
October 22, 2012 18:51
Abuja, Oct. 22, 2012 (NAN) Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, has criticised the illegal and inhuman deportation of 215 Nigerian fishermen from the Republic of Gabon.
In a statement in Abuja on Monday, Dabiri-Erewa described the deportation as `` unwarranted hostility against Nigerians doing legitimate businesses in Gabon by the Gabonese Government’’.
She further described the action as ``insensitive and un-African ’’.
The legislator said that she was not against the deportation of any Nigerian, who breached the law of any country, but ``definitely not those doing legitimate businesses''.
She said those deported were involved in legitimate businesses in that country and wondered why such people should be humiliated having lived in Gabon for decades and contributed to its development.
Dabiri-Erewa called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to look into the matter urgently and rehabilitate those affected with human dignity in line with its Citizen Diplomacy policy.
She also called on NEMA to ensure that the deportees were well rehabilitated and taken care of pending the resolution of the matter.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Sunday night evacuated 215 Nigerian fishermen from Gabon to Nigeria.
NEMA said the evacuation became necessary after the Gabonese authorities issued an eviction notice to Nigerian fishermen.
It said the affected fishermen lived in Nende, Mouka and Kenza islands, although majority of them had lived there for many decades doing legitimate businesses.
NEMA said the returnees, mostly from Bayelsa and few from Ondo, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Abia states, were flown to Port-Harcourt International Airport before being transported to their home states.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the fishermen had signified a willingness to be returned with their families after the eviction notice.
Before the execution of the evacuation process, NEMA said the Nigerian Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies had undertaken on-the-spot-assessment of the situation before dispatching a chartered aircraft to evacuate them.
In an effort to ensure full rehabilitation of the Nigerians and to protect their belongings, NEMA promised to also ship their outboard engines, fishing nets and other working tools to Nigeria.
The agency said respective state governments had been communicated on the development. (NAN)