The House of Representatives yesterday directed its Committee on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs to liaise with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the British High Commission over the planned deportation of 29,000 Nigerians from the United Kingdom.
The resolution also urged the committee to if necessary, summon the British High Commissioner to Nigeria to explain the reasons behind the planned mass deportation.
House members reached the resolutions following a motion bothering on matters of urgent Public importance brought by Hon Rita Orji (Lagos/PDP), drawing the attention of the House to the dangers of the proposed deportation of 29,000 Nigerians from the UK.
Orji in lead debates: “There are two million registered Nigerians who are citizens of the United Kingdom. We need to find out if these 29,000 people to be deported are part of the two million registered Nigerians living in the United Kingdom.
“It’s possible that many of the people are not even Nigerians. They could have been other African nationals who went to the United Kingdom through Nigeria and are being seen as Nigerians based on their point of origin.”
“We now have to look at section 19 of the constitution which deals with foreign policy initiative and focus on seeing how we can resolve this matter diplomatically or reciprocate this unfriendly and malicious legislation targeted at Nigerians in the United Kingdom”.
Minority leader of the House, Hon Leo Ogor (Delta/PDP) in his contribution, urged the House to thread with caution so as not to escalate a brewing diplomatic row between both countries.
Ogor: “My colleagues, having listened to this presentation and I am convinced that this is one motion that requires utmost caution. It also requires that we engage in a serious high level consultation and negotiation to get the full detail of what is going on.”
“And I believe that this is the time the committee should move into action to liaise with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the British High Commission with a view to working out ways of salvaging the situation.”
“Having 29,000 fully established people striped of their livelihood, belongings and removed from their comfort zones and dumped on another society is quite a dangerous development and I urge us to get the details and negotiate a way out”.
The motion which called on the government of the United Kingdom to stay action on the deportation pending further consultation with the government of Nigeria was referred to the House committee on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs for further action.