A member of the Nigerian community in Hamburg, Mrs Ngozi Utoh-Samuel, has called on the German authorities to temper justice with mercy on the situation of Nigerians whose asylum applications have been rejected.
The civil society activist, who is the founder of Positive Life Global Empowerment (PLGE) e.V., took to her Facebook page on Tuesday to address the issue of deportations to Nigeria in view of the security and economic crises that the country is currently undergoing.
There are reports that another group of Nigerian rejected asylum-seekers were deported last week to Lagos. If the news is confirmed, it would be the fourth deportation flight to Nigeria this year.
“Information reaching us says that some of our people were deported to Nigeria on 21.09.2021. We are calling on the German government to stop deporting our people back to Nigeria,” Mrs Utoh-Samuel wrote.
“We all know what is happening for the past years in Nigeria. Nigeria is a no-go area. People feel better dying in the Sahara and in the Sea than in that land.
“I call on all who do migration work to use their influence to draw the attention of the government to this problem. It concerns every one of us, we need to create awareness of this. We have been crying to the world on the current situation in Nigeria.”
Mrs Utoh-Samuel however frowned on Nigerians who commit crimes.
“For those who involve in drug peddling and such evil, I will never be a part of that. I hate evil. I stand for those with asylum problems that are being deported,” she explained.
“We plead to government to stop the deportations. We know how difficult it is for my people. I would rather suggest giving them working permit to struggle for themselves.”
Speaking in Berlin in November 2019, Christian Bilfinger, Policy Advisor on Refugee and Migration Policy at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation), said about 12,000 Nigerians had been issued papers to leave the country because their asylum claims had been rejected.
Another 20,000 were still expecting a final determination of their applications for protection under the country’s asylum laws, he revealed.
In view of the low recognition rates of Nigerian asylum claimants, about 6.5 per cent, it’s obvious that most of them would have to leave the country too, Bilfinger added while speaking at a technical roundtable discussion among Nigerian and German officials on how to make rejected Nigerian asylum-seekers leave Germany voluntarily and explore possible solutions to irregular migration from their country.
Community and refugee rights activists in Germany have been calling for a halt to deportations to Nigeria for several years due to the dismal security situation in the country, pleading for those affected to be given residence permits on humanitarian grounds.