WORRIED by the large number of Nigerians in jail abroad arising from criminal activities, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora yesterday blamed the ugly trend on leadership failure in the country.
Chairman of the committee, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, at a press briefing yesterday at the National Assembly, also sought fair trial for Nigerians facing various crime charges across the world.
She lamented that in Brazil alone, some 457 Nigerians were languishing in prisons for various offences, including drug trafficking.
She stressed the need for all security agencies at the nation’s airports and borders to step up action in tackling the problem of drug and child trafficking to foreign countries.
The lawmaker, who expressed concern over the problem of bad leadership in the country, stressed the need for the intervention of Federal Government and relevant agencies to provide basic necessities for the citizens across the country in order to reverse the trend.
Dabiri-Erewa also called for the implementation of treaties signed with Brazil and other governments across the world with a view to improving the well being of Nigerians in Diaspora.
She said; “there is failure of leadership in Nigeria, this is not what should be happening to us. It took one leader to change things in Brazil. Let’s also change things with our votes, your vote is your power. Are we saying we reward hopelessness, we reward bad leadership? You said it’s bad but you brought them to power again. So Nigerians must rise up for Nigeria.
“It took a ruler who has cancer now to save Brazil, followership has problem, but we have to get our leadership right. It’s a shame that we are where we are today, so we are now the largest number of drug couriers, we are the largest number of fraudsters, we need to do something. But it’s not all negatives, we have industrialists, pharmacists, doctors and educationists.”
A member of the committee, Abdulraham Terab, said that about 380 men are behind bars for drug trafficking, adding that, “the committee got the information from Nigerians across the globe. As a committee, we interact with all Nigerians across the world and wherever there is a Nigerian community we take interest in knowing how they are surviving there and what Nigeria as a country needs to do. Wherever we go we pride ourselves as the only committee in the world that deals with its citizens’ welfare.
“One of Nigeria’s greatest challenge is the fact that we need to look at our external potentials if they can contribute to our economy in any way. Except we try to run away from it, a lot of Nigerians outside there are contributing to our domestic economy, so we need to take care of them. We are looking at places where we have higher concentration of Nigerians, like China, Brazil, India, UK and Europe at large.”