Nigeria

Ohanaeze faults federal government’s free visa migration policy, says insecurity will worsen

Nnia Nwodo

Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has cautioned the Federal Government against plans to throw open Nigeria’s borders open to immigrants without visas.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Enugu on Tuesday night, the group decried what it described as an unprecedented national decision that would occasion massive entry of foreigners, some with questionable character into the country.

The group, which represents the Igbo community and its interests, noted that such unchecked and unregulated influx into the country by foreigners will further aggravate the security challenges Nigeria faces.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo stated that the action could give credence to the suspicion that the Federal Government was still bent on implementing its controversial RUGA scheme, and also invariably give a particular ethnic group undue advantage in subsequent elections in the country.

A communiqué by the apex Igbo body wondered why the Federal Government would take such a decision without any corresponding offer to Nigerians into the benefitting countries.

Calling for a rethink of the migration policy, Ohanaeze stressed the risk to domestic security and the economic fallout from the free entry of foreigners from the continent.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo also condemned the selective and parochial siteing of higher and specialised institutions entirely in the North to the total neglect of the southern part of the country.

It stated that the warped decision was synonymous with other troubling decisions by the Buhari administration to have people from a particular ethnic group and religion as heads of federal security forces and agencies in the country, notwithstanding their ages and the fact that they should have been retired to give way to younger officers.

Ohanaeze observed that this action of the Federal Government negates the constitutional provisions of the country that provides equitable representation and siteing of amenities throughout the country in accordance with the federal character principle.

Ohanaeze Ndigbo said that there has been a deliberate policy by the Federal Government to concentrate all military armaments and strategic units in the North, with the South completely barren of such facilities except checkpoints that have metamorphosed into toll gates for the exploitation of Ndigbo and their Southern neighbours.

The group’s communique urged the military authorities to dismantle all the checkpoints along the roads in Igbo land, especially during this period of Christmas, with the attendant mass movement of Ndigbo.

The group condemned the recent $30 billion loan taken by the Federal Government, saying that it will add to the woes of Nigerians, claiming that no transparent efforts have been made to arrest the scourge of corruption to guarantee its effective utilisation in the interest of ordinary citizens.

It further decried the recent call by the Chief Justice of the Federation for an amendment to the constitution to include Sharia Law at the apex court, saying that Nigeria, is a federal, secular republic and cannot have any religion imposed on the country.

Ohanaeze, however, said that if there was need for any such amendment, it should be extended to other religions, including Christianity and traditionalists to ensure equity.

The group condemned in its entirely the attempted attack on a prominent Igbo man, Chief Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport, who was allegedly harassed by members of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Spain recently.

Ohanaeze said that the belligerent approach by IPOB in its struggle for a sovereign Igbo ethnostate – Biafra – was bad optics for their cause, stressing that Nigerians should be free and safe wherever they were in the world.

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