Lawmaker Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has criticized Gabon over what she called the illegal and inhuman deportation of 215 Nigerian fishermen from Gabon.
In a statement in Abuja on Monday, Dabiri-Erewa, who is the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, described the deportation as “unwarranted hostility against Nigerians doing legitimate businesses in Gabon by the Gabonese Government.”
According to her the action was “insensitive and un-African” pointing out 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 claimed that the deportees have been involved in legitimate businesses in Gabon and wondered why they were targeted for humiliation after living in Gabon for decades and contributed to its development.
Dabiri-Erewa called on the Nigerian government and other stakeholders to intervene and rehabilitate those whose human dignity has been affronted.
She also called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to ensure that the deportees were well rehabilitated and taken care of pending the resolution of the matter.
The agency which on Sunday night evacuated 215 Nigerian fishermen from Gabon to Nigeria said that their evacuation became necessary after the Gabonese authorities issued an eviction notice to them.
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 that 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 fishermen had signified interest to return with their families after the eviction notice.
Before the execution of the evacuation order, NEMA said that 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.
Source African Press Agency
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