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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

How Federal Government policy killed 20 Nigerians in The Gambia every year : by Wale Ojo Lanre, Who Was In The Gambia

Over 20 Nigerians die yearly in The Gambia — President Nigerian Community

December 9, 2015
Written by: 
Wale Ojo Lanre, Who Was In The Gambia

Over 20 Nigerians  who domiciled in The Gambia  always  die every year  in their  efforts at obtaining the Nigerian national passport.
The President, Nigerian Community in The Gambia, Asiwaju Bashorun Ojikutu made this revelation  during an interview with Tribune Tourism Magazine (TTM), at the Sunset Beach Hotel, Kotu Serekunda, The Gambia 
Asiwaju Ojikutu who lamented that ‘It is sad and tragic  that we have to weep and gnash our  teeth every year  over the deaths of our members who  always meet their untimely deaths  through road accidents and other means on their way to Dakar to obtain passport because there is no passport printing machine in The Gambia”.
He pointed out “although we have a functional and responsive Embassy here in The Gambia  with responsible and dutiful officials, but it is regrettable that this Embassy has no machine for the issuance of national passport which then necessitates our members travelling all the way from The Gambia to Dakar”.
Asiwaju Ojikutu  revealed that , “The Nigerian Embassy here seems to be helpless as the only machine available to print the passport for the two countries is located at the  Nigerian Embassy in Dakar. We have to travel over 160 kilometres barring all the attenuating circumstances and risks”. 
Asiwaju Ojikutu disclosed that “We have made several representations to the Embassy and sometimes we have written letters to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the need to make available the equipment needed for the issuance of passport here in The Gambia so as to minimize the loss of lives,  but all our efforts have been futile.’
He called on President Muhammed Buhari  to help in this direction by ordering the allocation of passport printing machine  to the Embassy in The Gambia.
“Nigerian population in The Gambia is about 5600. In each year,we always record nothing less than 20 deaths of strong, virile, responsible and patriotic  Nigerians just because they are seeking to have their  country’s international identity which is passport. We believe that President Buhari will save us here the pang and pains of losing our members yearly. This death is preventable and stoppable. A passport printing machine is what is needed here to safe over 20 lives”.
Asiwaju Ojikutu believes that  “We have absolute confidence that President Buhari will come to our aid. We know he cares for the life of a single Nigerian, and we are sure an end has come to the serial deaths of  our members”
He disclosed “Most Nigerians here are law abiding and we have hidden our ethnic jingoism in Nigeria . Here in The Gambia, a Nigerian is a Nigerian, discrimination don’t normally surface . Here we see ourselves as one”
Asiwaju Ojikutu revealed “Most Nigerians here are law abiding. You see, The Gambia is just about 1.9 million population. It has a very good and efficient security system which makes it easy for quick identification and investigation whenever a crime is committed. Most crimes ascribed to Nigeria are not perpetuated by Nigerians who domicile in The Gambia, but majorly by those who use this place as a transit route to Europe”.
He commended President Yahya Jammeh for being friendly with Nigerians 
“We must commend the president and the people of The Gambia for their friendly posture towards Nigerians. They have been good hosts.