Abuja - Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned his fellow citizens against attempting to claim asylum in Britain, saying that their "criminal" reputation has led to them not being accepted abroad.
Speaking during an interview with the UK publication The Telegraph, Buhari said Nigerians had no-one to blame for their bad reputation and that they should remain home where their services were much needed.
Despite his remarks being highly controversial, Buhari's utterances remained significant, with only one in ten of the 13 000 asylum claims made by Nigerian nationals being accepted in Britain in the last fifteen years.
The statistics have proven to be a case for concern, with Britain having seen a surge in the number of asylum seekers attempting to flee terrorist group Boko Haram.
While touching on the issue of the missing Chibok girls, Buhari revealed that he would be willing to negotiate for the girls' safe return if the identity of the leaders could be ascertained.
Buhari's utterances, however, seemed to contradict a recent statement made by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo who claimed that the missing Chibok girls may never be found. Obasanjo said promises to find the girls over two years after their abduction was insincere.
In response to Buhari's interview, Nigerians took to Twitter to voice their opinions under the hashtag #NigeriansAreNotCriminals with the topic gaining traction over the past few days.