The federal government has warned parents against sending their children to universities in Northern Cyprus owing to “incessant and mysterious killings of Nigerian students”.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission NIDCOM, gave the warning when she received a delegation led by Amina Bello, a judge and mother of Ibrahim Khaleel, a Nigerian student, who was allegedly murdered in the country.
She said the death of Khaleel, a third-year engineering student, is one out of the incessant killings involving Nigerian students in the country.
The NIDCOM boss, who reeled out 15 names of Nigerians from a list of more than 100 killed in the country, said it is difficult to employ international diplomacy in investigating the cases as the country is only recognised by Turkey.
“The death of Ibrahim Khaleel should be the tipping point to a stop in the killing of our children anywhere in the world, particularly Northern Cyprus,” she said.
“It is not only Ibrahim. Kennedy Dede 28, Augustine Ngok, Gabriel Sorewei, Osabanjo Owoyale, Augustine Wallace, Stanley Eteno, Hassan Babatunde, Temitayo Adigun, and Kubat Abraham are just a few of the ones that we even know.
“The problem is that most Nigerian parents do not know that Northern Cyprus is not recognised by any country in the world. It is not a UN-recognised country. It is only recognised by Turkey.
“That is why we have not been able to do much. Who do you report to? Thousands of Nigerian students are schooling there and I tell you that hundreds have been killed. Who do you take these cases to?
“And they are killed in similar circumstances. The school just tells you ‘well, they committed suicide’ and nothing happens.
“We are going to list all these names of Nigerians that have been killed and we demand justice. There has been no prosecution and no compensation. No Nigerian parent should send their children to any university in Northern Cyprus – there is a collaboration which we do not understand that makes them kill blacks, particularly our Nigerian students.”
Dabiri-Erewa assured the mother of the deceased student that the commission would work with her to demand justice, not only for her son but also for other Nigerians who have been killed while studying in that country.
She added that the case had already been transferred to INTERPOL through the office of the attorney general of the federation.
“We have written the NUC. The key thing is to blacklist Northern Cyprus and to stop our children from going to that country to study,” she said.
“We will be working with the NUC to list all the universities in Northern Cyprus and blacklist them. We cannot be letting them kill our children.”
She added there were plans by NIDCOM to visit Northern Cyprus after the COVID-19 pandemic “to see things as clearly as they were”.
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