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Reps begin probe of Nigerien influx into Nigeria

The House of Representatives, yesterday ordered its Committees on Public Safety and National Security, Foreign Affairs, Interior and the Police Affairs to probe the migration of Nigeriens into Nigeria. The House also urged the Federal Government to, urgently provide aids to border communities and the migrants. Such aid it said, should be in form of providing them with food and other necessary relief materials to alleviate their sufferings.

The lawmakers equally enjoined the Federal Government to immediately assist the people of Niger Republic by sending aids to the country to improve her security conditions.

The resolutions, which were controversially adopted, followed a motion brought to the floor of the House by Mr. Abdullahi Salame from Sokoto State. He entitled the motion, “Need to Check the Massive Migration of Nigeriens into Nigeria and the resultant effect, shortage of food stuff in the Nigerian-Nigerien Border Communities.”

He observed that drought affected the neighbouring Niger Republic last year and caused shortage of food and pasture for livestock, resulting in migration of the people there into Nigeria. He noted that Niger Republic is a friendly neighbour of Nigeria, sharing many cultural ties and member of ECOWAS, African Union, AU and the United Nations.

The politician pointed out that the situation had imposed over-bearing food and security challenges on Nigerian-Nigerien border communities, which were compelled to host the migrants. He expressed concern that if the matter was not properly and promptly addressed, it would lead to a breakdown of law and order and breach of peace in the border areas, saying criminals might capitalize on the situation to perpetrate criminal acts, not just within the borders but also in other parts of the country.

In their contributions, most members spoke against the motion on the grounds that the Nigeriens the motion sought to assist were illegal immigrants, who have been causing security problems in Nigeria. Jagaba Adams Jagaba from Kaduna State stressed that most of the security challenges confronting Nigeria in recent times were brought about by these illegal immigrants flocking into the country particularly from Niger Republic.

He therefore, implored the Government to seriously police our borders and restrict the unauthorized movement of people from other countries to Nigeria. Peter Edeh (ANPP, Ebonyi) argued that Nigeria has enormous socio-economic problems that require the immediate attention of Government, insisting that the Government has obligation to address its internal problems before thinking of assisting other countries.

When the motion was put to voice vote by the Presiding Officer and Deputy-Speaker, Emeka Ihedioha, those who said no overwhelmed the voice of the supporters. But the Deputy-Speaker hit his gavel in favour of the motion and it passed amidst members’ grumbling.


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Posted by on Mar 30 2012. Filed under Africa & World Politics, House, Latest Politics, Legislature. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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