At least 12,000 Nigerians living in Germany may be deported next year.
Germany’s global head of programme, migration and development, Ralf Sanftenberg, disclosed this during a visit to the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on foreign affairs and diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
According to him, “We have over 37,000 Nigerians in Germany and more than 12,000 of them are asylum seekers.There is a little chance for their applications to be moved and they may be forced to come back to Nigeria next year.”
Sanftenberg, who is the leader of delegation from the German ministry of economic cooperation and development, said he was on a site assessment mission for Nigerians who are voluntarily returning to the country.
He said 99 per cent of the asylum seekers would likely be denied asylum status because Nigeria is not among war countries and added that asylum seekers willing to return to Nigeria voluntarily will not be forced back or deported but would be assisted through a support programme organised by Germany.
In another development, the federal government has sought an end to the killings of Nigerians in South Africa and has demanded justice for a Nigerian, Tochukwu Nnadi, killed in Johannesburg in December 2016, by South African police officers.
Dabiri-Erewa made the demand yesterday when she visited the South African high commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, in Abuja.
The senior special assistant to President Buhari on foreign affairs and decried the killing of over 116 Nigerians in South Africa within two years, pointing out that 63 per cent of the extra-judicial killings are carried out by the police.
“The last time we came here was on a sad note, we are here again on another sad note, but you have made very good comment about the fact that we need to work together to stop what is going on anywhere in Africa. We are worried about the criminalisation of immigrants especially among ourselves and we are worried in particular about the criminalisation of Nigerian migrants in South Africa,” she stated.
She pointed out that rather than criminalise Nigerians, Nigeria and South Africa should engage in cooperation that could lead to social-economic development as the ‘two giants of Africa.’
While cautioning against jungle justice and the need for South African authorities to educate their citizens on the need to stop killings of immigrants which she described as senseless, Dabiri-Erewa said, “Yes, some do commit crimes and they deserved to be punished, but the extra-judicial killings worried us. In the last two years, 116 Nigerians had been killed in South Africa and according to statistics, 63 per cent of them were killed by the police and we hope that the death of the Nigerian who died on the 29th of December, 2016, would get justice in the hands of the South African authorities because I know you will and I believe you will.”