Navy Arrests 183 Nigerians, 41 Illegal Migrants From Gabon
About 183 Nigerians and 41 illegal migrants trying to sneak into the country have been arrested by the eastern naval command of the Nigerian Navy on Thursday, January 21, in Calabar, Cross River state.
The illegal migrants who were on board a transport vessel were intercepted at the shoreline on its arrival from Gabon, according to Rear Admiral Atiku Abdulkadir, the flag officer commanding (FOC) of the command.
Abdulkadir, according to Vanguard, explained that the ship was allowed to berth at the jetty because majority of the passengers were Nigerians. Out of the 183 Nigerians, 93 were children, and 83 of the children had no documents.
The FOC said majority of the adults on board the vessel had no travelling passport, but came into the country with emergency travel certificates.
He said they will need to profile them and trace the origin of the children on the vessel to confirm whether they were brought into Nigeria illegally.
He identified 41 foreigners on board the ship, out of which four are from the Central African region while others are from West Africa.
He said: “Over 35 of them again are with emergency travel certificates and no passport. We are trying to work with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to re-assure ourselves that they are not of any dangerous character.
“It is a big concern to us that people are coming into this country without proper travel documents.
“Now that there is Lassa Fever and other health challenges, we also want to ensure that those that are here are of no health threat to the people around.”
The commander said the foreigners will be handed over to the Nigeria immigration service for proper check and anyone found with illegal travel document would be sent back to Gabon.
“We are concerned about security; we want to ensure that the proper thing is done and we cannot afford to allow illegal immigrants into this country,” he said
Shettima Sheriff, a resident of the area in Maiduguri, told newsmen that the people of the area are impressed with the show of force and proactiveness exhibited by the military who cleared and repelled the insurgents.
According to Sheriff, it is the first time Boko Haram is coming to the town and could not succeed. He said: “This shows that the country is moving forward and we are hoping that very soon, all insurgents would be dealt with and our people will all return home.”