Deportation: Nigeria threatens South Africa with retaliation

by Lekan Olanrewaju

The Federal Government of Nigeria has reportedly warned that it may be forced to reciprocate the deportation of about 125 Nigerians on Sunday by the South African authority.

The citizens were turned back at the airport due to the fact they came into the country without appropriate travel documents, particularly, the Yellow Fever Card.

The country’s Interior Minister, Abba Moro who on Monday spoke to newsmen, said if it was found out that South Africa unfairly denied the Nigerians entry into the country, Nigeria would reciprocate appropriately.

“We don’t want to speculate,” he said. “I want to say that if South Africa have every reason to believe that the document that some Nigerians were carrying are fake, it is incumbent upon us to find out the authenticity of the situation. I can assure you that we are going to appropriately react. But for the time being, I want to say that the Nigeria immigration service has the mandate to allow persons into Nigeria and people who are not qualified certainly will not be allowed to enter Nigeria, but let’s not hasten by jumping into conclusion the possible reasons why South Africa has repatriated Nigerians.”

He also spoke on the lack of security of the borders, saying: “It is unfair to say that we don’t know the category of persons that enter Nigeria. Nigeria like any other big country has this problem of border porosity. I agree with you that Nigeria border as vast as it is, is porous to some extent, but that is not to say that we don’t know the category of people who enter Nigeria. What we have done recently against the backdrop of the conclusion that we have terrorism in Nigerian, against the backdrop of the fact that we have people coming from outside the country to perpetrate terrorism in this country is for us to fortify our borders which we are doing.”

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