Tunde Bolaji – Minna
Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has assured the people of Niger state that there was no cause for alarm over the presence of some citizens suspected to be from Niger Republic .
Their presence in the state capital has elicited fears among residents suspecting them to be members of one of terror groups terrorizing the state.
The clarifications from the NIS, Niger Command is coming on the heels of fears by citizens about the presence of some ‘strange persons’ in one of the facilities along David Mark road and their presence elicited fears among residents.
An alien from Niger Republic, his wife and a kid, according to findings had been staying within the Minna Sports Club complex and was engaged as a security man for weeks before six others emerged from nowhere to join them.
The increased number of the strange faces with more baggage however elicited fears and tension within the facility when a disagreement broke out causing hot exchange of words which later degenerated into free for all fight among them before the police came in and rounded them up.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) NIS, Niger State Command, ASI Mukhtar Abubakar who spoke on behalf of the State Controller confirmed that the police arrested and handed over to the Command eight persons found to be from Niger Republic.
“The CID handed over to us 8 suspected irregular migrants; 6 adults and 2 minors and we found them to be from Niger Republic and they all have valid traveling documents which they presented at their point of entry into Nigeria through Ilella boarder post in Sokoto state”.
“Under the ECOWAS protocols Phase 1 free movements of persons they are allowed to stay in Nigeria for a period not exceeding 90 days. They had no Visa but their document is in compliance with the e-registration Act of 2016 regular movements of member countries”.
The NIS PRO said the Nigeriens whom he refused to give their names has been in Nigeria since December 2019 as visitors or tourists under the ECOWAS treaty, adding however that, “We have placed them on surveillance till the expiration of the 90 days”.
“They are regular migrants and not members of any of the extremist groups as people are already entertaining fear about. In view of that we have released them pending the expiration of the 90 days within which they are expected to renew their papers or they be expatriated back to their country”, he said.
The NIS Public Relations Officer assured that there is no cause for alarm as the Controller and men and officers of the command are on ground monitoring movements of the aliens to ensure that they do not pose security threats to the government and people of Niger state.