The German government has deported a new batch of Nigerian migrants, less than 48 hours after the attack on former Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu, by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). According to reports, the migrants left Frankfurt Airport on Monday morning, and were expected to land in Nigeria’s Murtala Mohammed International Airport by 3:00 pm.
“The flight will be from Frankfurt on Monday. For those who have been given the information, the plane will take off by 8 am and arrive in Nigeria between 2 pm. and 3 pm. Those who will be deported will be picked randomly from their different accommodation centres from 3 am till 5 am in different regions and conveyed to a central place and finally to Frankfurt Airport,” the Co-ordination Activist for Network Refugees 4Refugees, a political platform for refugees and migrant self-organisation based in Stuttgart, Germany, Rex Osa, told The Nation.
Osa added: “When their asylum application is already expired, they are obligated to leave the country.
For those who don’t leave voluntarily, they will be given a what is I can translate in English to mean toleration status. This status is not a resident title; it is to show that the person is still there because the deportation is hindered because of one reason or the other.
“These people are picked up early in the morning without expecting the police. Some would be picked up from work also. When the police arrive in their rooms, they would be allowed to pack things not more than say 64 kilos. The police will be standing to make sure the person does not escape.”
The activist urged the federal government to come to the aid of the victims as many of them are coming with a myriad of challenges. “Among these people are many sick people. Nigeria should be expecting a lot of people who have psychological problems, and people with spinal cord problems leading to paralysis.” The number of migrants deported was not ascertained but it would be recalled that last month, two batches of Nigerians were deported from Germany.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian embassy in Germany has said the attackers of Ekweremadu would be prosecuted under German laws. German laws stipulated that physical assaults are punishable by fines or imprisonments of up to 10 years, depending on the gravity.
The embassy in Berlin in a statement Monday said the threat level of the event had been classified as “minimal” by the German police, hence the lack of security personnel at the event. It read: “The Embassy of Nigeria, Berlin, Germany wishes to react to viral videos of a vicious physical attack on the immediate past Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate and serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ike Ekweremadu, by some members of an illegal and terrorist entity named Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in Nuremberg on 17th August 2019.
“The attack happened at an event organised by Nigerians in Germany under the auspices of a socio-cultural organisation known as Ndigbo Germany, a registered entity in the Federal Republic of Germany. Invitations were extended to Nigerian dignitaries, including the Distinguished Senator and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Germany, His Excellency Yusuf Maitama Tuggar.
“The Nigerian Ambassador also honoured the invitation but arrived at the venue shortly after the incident. The organisers reportedly requested for police protection to ensure public order during the event but were told that the threat level was minimal and did not require stationing of any personnel at the venue before the incident.
“The Embassy has requested a thorough investigation of this attack with a view to identifying the perpetrators and bringing them swiftly to justice in accordance with German law. This would deter future acts of violence against officials of the Nigerian Government on German soil particularly against the backdrop of threats by the proscribed IPOB to carry out similar attacks on more Nigerian dignitaries, especially those from the South Eastern part of the country.”