Nigerians are globally known as travellers with motive and conscience. Researchers believe that there is no place around the world where Nigerians are not located, even in Iceland, of all places. Their natural habitat  abilities are unbeatable. That is why a high percentage of the population have dual citizenship. In fact, their adaptability cannot be equalled by any other nationality. Many factors are responsible for the exodus of most Nigerians abroad. Such factors include the quest for better, quality education, demand, search for better medical attention, exploring international space and engaging in business endeavours.

Also, Nigerians relocate abroad for greener pastures and to give their children a better future, mostly due to insecurity and daily uncertainty of life. Moreover, unemployment and poor remuneration, especially for professionals who want better quality of life, good food, good housing, transportation and better living conditions. This stability enables people to plan their lives better. 

In spite of these crucial basic needs of life, there are still some Nigerians whose motive run foul of well established diplomatic  relationships. Unfortunately, the journeys usually embarked upon by some Nigerian youths across the globe have created major diplomatic cracks that federal government agencies like the Nigeria Immigration Service, the diapospora commission and other relevant security agencies are working tirelessly to mend. Such perilous journeys traverse the desert regions of  northern Africa to gain access into Libya en route Europe. 

Reports show that thousands of adventurous Nigerian youths may have died during such perilous journeys. The question is, which of the security agencies is responsible for  allowing our youths free passage to leave the country? Also, if they are not exiting through the official passage, who should be blamed for the porosity  of our borders? There is no  arguing the fact that there are many illegal routes around the  northern and southern fringes of the country and  people frequently  use these illegally unmanned routes to travel out of the country.

Unfortunately, they are aided by a dangerous group, known as human traffickers. This form of trafficking allows criminal networks to reap the profits of a variety of illicit activities without much risk.

Victims are forced to carry out a range of illegal activities, which in turn generate income. Sadly, these  can include theft, drug cultivation, selling counterfeit goods, or forced begging. Victims often have quotas and can face severe punishment if they do not perform adequately.

Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation (prostitution) is very common in such circles.This prevalent form of trafficking affects every region in the world, either as a source, transit or destination country. Women and children from developing countries, and from vulnerable parts of society in developed countries are lured by promises of decent employment into leaving their homes and travelling to what they consider would be a better life.

Victims are often provided with false travel documents and an organized network is used to transport them to the destination country, where they find themselves forced into sexual exploitation and held in inhumane conditions and constant terror.

So, it was heart-warming, when 11 female Nigerians  between the ages of 19 years and 37 years were apprehended in Niger Republic on their way to Libya and repatriated to Nigeria by the Niger Republic Police. They were handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service at the Illela Border Command.

  The trafficking victims were received by the comptroller of immigrations, Illela Border Command, Ado Rano Sabo, and in turn handed to the zonal commandant of NAPTIP in Sokoto on Friday, March 10, 2023.

One underlining lesson that should not be downplayed or wished away is the friendly and official disposition of the Niger Republic police department that arrested and handed over of the victims to their country’s security agency in the spirit of  inter agency collaboration. It should be commended.

After all, the Niger Republic security agency could have  taken to the international media to publish their arrest. Instead, they exhibited the spirit of good neighbours to return them to Nigeria where they would be further interrogated and made to understand that embarking on such perilous  journeys is not profitable nor beneficial to anyone.

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This exhibition should not be overlooked by those in authority because, one good turn deserves another. Such inter-agency collaboration should be further be explored by the Nigerian security agencies so as to produce good results. This action shows that the Nigerian security agencies are exhibiting true professionalism and this is commendable.


Image-makers or damagers? (2)

Media professionals, researchers, visitors and others who  need vital information about security institutions like the police, armed forces, Economic and Financial Crimeas Commission (EFCC), Directorate of State Security (DSS), etc, usually contact the media officer. Unfortunately, many of the present-day media officers representing security agencies are not well groomed and equipped for the job.

An image-maker is someone equipped with requisite qualifications and added human touch. An image-maker should be intelligent and should not be selected or appointed on the basis of ethnic or religious affiliation to the head of the agency.

One important factor of a good image-maker is communication skill. The Nigeria Police  and the Nigerian Army had produced some of the best image-makers ever known. Celebrated officers like AIG Tunji Alapini,  Frank Odita (NPF), (NPF) Chris Olakpe (late), (NPF) Don Awunah (late), (NPF) Haz Iwendi (late), Frank Mbah (NPF) and Muyiwa Adejobi (NPF), Fred Chijuka (Army),  (Navy) Commodore Oladimeju, Charles Martins (Air Force), Sagir Musa (Army), Sanni K. Usman (Army), Femi Babafemi (formerly Efcc now NDLEA), Wilson Uwajare (Efcc), and Tony Akuneme (NIS) come to mind.

These refined, intelligent and disciplined officers were like honey that helped to attract good report to their institutions. Their communication skills, level-headedness and good moral disposition helped to rewrite many bad impressions in the consciousness of Nigerians about some security institutions. For instance, when Nigerians detested the police like a leprosy patient, it was Alapini who impressed it on the people that the NPF was a vital part of their lives with his award winning cliche “the police is your friend.”

All the aforementioned officers of the police, EFCC, Imigration, Air Force, Navy and the Army have made and left remarkable and indelible marks on their various security institutions and added integrity to the name of their institutions.

A time was when Nigerians were not ready to provide tangible information to either the police or the army. These men of honour created ideas that systematically won the hearts of the people.

This writer worked as reporter while they were serving and is presently in a vintage position to evaluate and make comparisons with others not mentioned  because they lack the communication skills  that truly differentiate a good image-maker from an image-damager.