By Dahiru Aliyu
Is it not time the Federal Government began protecting innocent Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates? This call is as a result of six Nigerians who were convicted last year and were sentenced to jail.
Six Nigerians are facing prison terms of 10 years to life after a federal appeal court in the UAE upheld their conviction for funding the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
To avoid more Nigerians getting involved in the terrorist group’s grip in the future, the Nigerian government should investigate the reasons they get involved. It would be very important to be aware if they were under any pressure to accept the offer, either for financial benefits or death threats from the Boko Haram terrorist group. Some would have gotten involved because of the type of business they do in UAE, deception and consequential ignorance.
According to The Sun publication on November 11, 2020, the Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum said: “It is important the federal government follows up on the findings by the UAE with the hope of using the intelligence, if authenticated, to expand the search for other Boko Haram sponsors that may be helping in similar ways.”
In conformity with that, the federal government could as well establish a welfare department that would guide Nigerians in the Diaspora, to be conscious of the consequences of getting involved with any terrorist group as well as discouraging them from further involvement.
Conversely, the government of the United Kingdom fails to protect her teenage citizen from ignorantly travelling to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS terrorist group. The citizenship of British-born ISIS bride, Shamima Begum, citizen was revoked by the British government and banned from returning to the UK because she poses a great threat to the country. How would the Nigerian government react to her citizen’s involvement with the Boko Haram terrorist group?
However, the Nigerian government should not be ignorant that some of her citizens in the UAE might still be under Boko Haram pressure to accept or continue transactions with the deadly terrorist group. While some may have lost their lives for not accepting their offer, few may later succumb to their proposal in the near future. Moreover, it could be that many might have fled UAE because of Boko Haram threats to their lives by the terrorist group for not accepting their offer; and they may not want to come back to Nigeria for security reasons.
•Dahiru Aliyu, who used to live in United Arab Emirate, writes from London, where he now resides.