Abuja - Nigerian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia (KSA), Alhaji Abubakar Bunu, has said that many Nigerian
emigrants in that country are changing their names to outsmart
authorities and avoid deportation.
Amb. Bunu, who disclosed this to journalists in Gusau on Saturday, said
many of the emigrants had gone into hiding thereby making it difficult
for the law enforcement agents to trace them.
He explained that in spite od joint efforts by the Saudi authorities and
officials of the Nigerian Embassy there to locate them, only about 500
persons had been repatriated in the last six months.
He said the embassy had discovered that some of the emigrants, who had
lived there for upwards of 25 years, had crossed through different
routes including Sudan and Yemen or as pilgrims on lesser hajj and
refused to return.
Bunu stated that although the figure of Nigerians staying illegally in
the kingdom was not known, the Saudi authorities said it was over one
He therefore advised Nigerians who want to stay in the Arabian country
to regularise their documents with the authorities to avoid unwarranted
Some deportees, who were brought back to Gusau recently and spoke to NAN
on condition of anonymity, however claimed hat "only when one was hit
with hard luck that the person gets arrested and deported."
They maintained that many Nigerians still lived normal lives in Mecca
and Madinah by going to the markets and praying at the Holy Mosques
without being harassed.
They said, "we will still go back whenever we get the chance," pointing
out that, "we still have our family members and personal belongings
NAN reports that the ambassador was in the state to attend the state's
PDP elders and stakeholders meeting organised by the party's caretaker
leadership in Gusau.