The Federal government on Thursday assured Nigerians recently deported from Ghana that they would not be made to suffer for crimes they did not commit.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, gave the assurance while briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to her, the Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana, Olufemi Abikoye, was on top of the situation, stressing that the matter would soon be resolved.
She said “The story of hundreds of Nigerians being deported from Ghana is disturbing and worrisome. The good thing is that Nigerian Ambassador to Ghana is on top of the situation. Now, he met with the Comptroller General of the Immigration in Ghana and they both had a very productive discussion.
“But here is the situation, if indeed you commit a crime you have to face the penalties. But what we are saying is that a bad apple should not spoil the bunch. Let every case be treated on its merit. That’s what our ambassador is demanding and that’s what Nigeria is asking for.
“It’s important that both nations look at this situation, not gloss over it to ensure that our relationships continue to get better and not retrogress. So, we appeal to Nigerians that wherever you are, you are the number one ambassador of the country.
“The assurance of the Nigerian government is that wherever any Nigerian is deemed to be improperly treated by any country the matter will be taken up.
“Nigerian Ambassador in Ghana is on top of this situation; he’s meeting the relevant bodies and briefing the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Nigeria will not gloss over this.
“We want to appeal to Nigerians to stay calm, be law-abiding and at the same time, Nigeria will not tolerate indecent treatment of its citizens. One bad apple should not spoil the whole bunch.
“So we should not treat one badly because another one committed a crime. If you commit a crime, you pay the penalty. We will continue to see how it goes but I’m glad that the Ambassador to Ghana is on top of the situation.” she added
On the crimes allegedly committed by the deportees, Dabiri-Erewa said “Don’t forget we have issues with the traders which we resolved with Mr. President intervention.
“So, this too will be resolved. Everything will be done to ensure as I said, you will not suffer for a crime you did not commit. If however, you commit a crime, then you have to face the penalty. Nigeria and Ghana have agreed on this. We will look at each case on its own merit.”