The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
Nigerian Migrants Stranded In India After Embassy Collects Over 50,000 Rupees, Airplane Gets Stuck
Nigerian migrants in India are stranded at the Nigerian Embassy after paying a sum of over 50,000 rupees to return home—an amount nearly equivalent to about 500,000 thousand in naira. They are unable to find a place to live and are unable to return to Nigeria as the airplane that was supposed to take them home has become stuck. The Nigerian Embassy has closed its doors to the migrants, leaving them stranded and unsure of what to do next.
Many of the migrants had to sell their properties and leave their jobs in order to return to Nigeria, but now their plans have been disrupted.
Some of the migrants have reported paying as much as 500,000 naira to the embassy in order to fill out the necessary forms to return to Nigeria. The situation has left many Nigerian migrants angry and frustrated.
At least hundreds of Nigerians are without a place to live as they prepare to return to Nigeria following the Nigerian Immigration Service’s new policy allowing dual citizens to travel to Nigeria even with expired passports. It is unclear whether emigrants will have to pay a fee, but one victim named Sherif stated that they were not supposed to pay but were charged 50,000 Indian rupees (equivalent to almost 500,000 naira) by the Nigerian Embassy. The price varies, he added.
Many of the emigrants have been forced to sell their properties and leave their jobs in order to return home at the designated time, according to Sherif (not the real name). However, since Thursday, the Nigerian Embassy in India has closed its doors to migrants, leaving them stranded at the embassy. Sherif stated that the plane was set to take off from India, but the embassy’s closure has put their plans in jeopardy.
“the thing is there is an evacuation flight government approved for Nigerians in India. So, the Nigeria Embassy here said anyone willing to go home should come and apply for it,” Sheriff said.
“So, our people went there to fill those forms. But they collected money from us. They didn’t do it for free for people here before they can allow you to fill in the form, one needs to pay. Even, some of us about 500,000 thousand were collected, just for us to fill in the form to come back home.
“So, it is today that everybody ought to move. But as soon as they got to the embassy today, they didn’t do anything for them at all. They just abandoned them outside, they didn’t allow them to enter.
“Something like this remains bad because many people have sold their properties, hoping they are going home.”
Consequently, dozens of Nigerian Migrants were seen with luggage in video clips obtained from one of the migrant.
“Mo let our people go o, mo let our people go in Jesus name. Nigerians are angry. We are not happy. We want to go home,” a voice had said in one of the clips.
Our attempts to contact the NIS were unsuccessful. A brief email sent to its official address was not replied to, and the phone line was not working
Until now, migrants dream to return back home, uncertain.