The federal government’s move to register illegal immigrants has been described by critics as a backdoor to unleash an “army of occupation” on Nigerians
- The premise of the planned registration was faulted by a former presidential adviser, Echefuna Rotimi Onyebeadi
- Onyebeadi wondered why the government is hell-bent on populating the already pauperised and over- populated country with alien Fulani wanderers
- The ex presidential adviser said the Buhari government is determined to implement a certain unconstitutional hidden agenda
Heavy criticism has trailed the federal government’s move to register illegal immigrants in the country electronically; with some observers describing it as a backdoor to unleash an “army of occupation” on Nigerians.
The president, represented by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, gave a hint of the development last Friday, July 12, The Guardian reports.
HeadlineNews360 gathers that he said: “It is on this note therefore, that I am declaring a six-month amnesty period for illegal migrants already in the country to submit themselves to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) for the purpose of this registration.
“The registration will be carried out without any payment or penalties. I’m enjoining all migrants staying in Nigeria whether regularly or otherwise, to take advantage of the amnesty window to register with the NIS.”
The premise of the planned registration was, however, faulted by a former presidential adviser, Echefuna Rotimi Onyebeadi.
The professor of Engineering Economics and Strategic Management, in a July 13 letter titled “From Ruga To E-Registration Of Immigrants: What Next?’, accused the Buhari government of trying to “confer unsolicited and unlawful citizenship on illegal immigrants.”
He said: “The outcry of Nigerians on the attempt by Buhari’s government to forcefully acquire native lands for these alien Fulani herdsmen through the ‘suspended’ RUGA is yet to die down and, now, just a few days after, as though in a relay race, this unlawful conferment of citizenship on illegal immigrants by the government through the backdoor has been brought up.
“Why is this government hell-bent on populating the already pauperised and over- populated country with alien Fulani wanderers?
“Why does Buhari want to confer citizenship through the backdoor on aliens under whatever guise, to the detriment of Nigerian citizens? Are these not the same people the Buhari government is creating RUGA for?”
He stated further: “There are existing laws guiding naturalisation of foreigners which, again, this government is trying to jettison as usual with impunity and reckless abandon with the introduction of this obnoxious e-registration of illegal immigrants to the unsuspecting public.
“Documenting illegal immigrants should necessarily lead to returning them to where they came from.
“But, no, the Buhari government is determined to implement a certain unconstitutional hidden agenda that is gradually unfolding everyday by his government’s actions, inactions and responses, which are averse to the well being of the country.”
This development comes following a previous report by Legit.ng that foreigners living in Nigeria illegally would be hit by deportation following a policy planned by the country’s immigration service which included granting residence permit to those from other countries.
The warning was given by the comptroller general of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babban Dede.
According to him, any of the foreigners who failed to possess his residence permit before the expiration of the stipulated time would be deported.