The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has alleged that some of the Nigerians arrested by the Ghana Immigration Service were those who escaped from a prison break that occurred in Nigeria.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported how over 400 Nigerians were arrested in Bolga, Upper West Region of Ghana after being accused of rape and dealing in hard drugs.
A Twitter user, @kenneth2nice had posted a video of Nigerians on a field lamenting the humiliation they had suffered from the Ghanaian government.
In response, Dabiri-Erewa tweeted, “The Nigerian mission in Ghana is dealing with the matter. Some prisoners who allegedly escaped from a jailbreak here in Nigeria have been allegedly found escaping to Ghana during this period through illegal means. The Nigerian mission has been engaging the Ghanaian authorities.”
However, two young men who are presently in the camp in Ghana countered Dabiri-Erewa’s claims, stating that the people at the camp have been appropriately screened and identified as people who have been in Ghana for a minimum of three years.
One of the young men said all the Nigerians at the camp have been thoroughly screened for a week, and biodata captured including thumbprints.
According to him, no prison escapee will want his details captured and sent to the Nigerian government.
He said, “Whatever that woman has said is not true. We have all been screened thoroughly, our faces captured, thumbprints taken, and other details so the Nigerian government will identify us and we all submitted to it because the humiliation by the Ghanaian government is so serious.
“We have been here for a good number of years and we have experienced the goodness in Ghana compared to Nigeria. It’s not like we want to come back to Nigeria but we don’t have an option. We are not criminals but we don’t have our papers complete, that’s why they are returning us. What good is in Nigeria? Nigerian government should not profile us wrongly.”
Another victim who had earlier spoken with SaharaReporters stated again that he had been employed by Qnet company for over three years in Ghana before the profiling by the Ghanaian government.
According to him, the company has a headquarters in Nigeria where they will all return to, and continue working upon arrival to Nigeria.
He said the company has been responsible for the feeding and upkeep of its staff members who were arrested.
“The company has tried their best. They pay for our food, give us money for our other upkeep. To use the toilet here, we pay 1 Cedi which is about N100. The company has been responsible for all that.
“By the time we return to Nigeria, we will start working at the company’s headquarters in Enugu and other parts of Nigeria. But that even depends on the economy and if they can employ all of us.
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“What NIDCOM chairman is saying is false. We actually don’t want to come back to Nigeria, a country of insecurity, a country of banditry but we have no other option.”