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Nigerian Ambassador’s contradiction on the dubious Deportation collaboration

On behalf of The VOICE Refugee Forum and The Nigerian African Forum:
"We hereby call on Mr. Abdul-Kadir Bin Rimdap, the Nigerian Ambassador to make public the Nigerians deported and the lists of the embassy supported deportation since his deployment to Germany.

We also call for a public statement on Why and How {Willingly or by torture} they were deported, the Airlines {commercial or private}, departure location from Germany and exact destination of the Victims in Africa. We also want a public statement on what happened to them during their deportation flights and on arrival in the destination, including the transited countries and as well as the actual record of Nigerians in the deportation Prisons in Germany based on stay permit?"

Nigerian Ambassador’s contradiction on the dubious Deportation collaboration

"Nobody can stop this mobile hearing, even you" was the comment from Mr. A.L. Sidi - Minister Counselor of the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin; during a meeting organized by a delegation of African people Convention with the Ambassador on 12th Sept 2008. The meeting was to discuss the issue of the on-going ‘Mobile Deportation Hearings by the Nigerian Embassy in Germany' to facilitate the deportation of African asylum seekers in Germany.

Just to show their unrelenting determination to continue this dubious collaboration, the Mobile Nigerian Embassy mobile hearings moved the following week after the above meeting to Dortmund thus facilitating more deportation and sending more victims into deportation custody especially in the Bayern region.

This was a contradiction of the Ambassador’s comment earlier, that if they have to stop the mobile hearing for one month, more Africans will be deported as this is absolutely possible for the German authorities with or without the embassy cooperation. From the Ambassador’s comments, the embassy is practically a stooge in that they operate based on instructions from authorities in Abuja; who in turn and on a higher level, cooperates with the German authorities.

Mr. P.A Okoye Minister (Political and Information) in the Nigerian Embassy signalled in an email dated 2nd October, 2008 that the embassy appreciate the position of the Various organisations in the fight against Mobile Deportation Hearings and that they are already negotiating the issue with the German authorities but dicey as it seem, the mobile hearings has gained momentum visiting Bielefeld and Halberstadt in October and November respectively. Point of correction as to the content of the letter from Mr Okoye; The Voice Forum is not part of the negotiation of bringing the hearing to the embassy rather, deportation collaboration must have to stop.

The Ambassador also confirmed in Munich that he has opened up negotiation on the issue of amnesty for Nigerians who have been here for long but, on the German side, this would encourage more people to come in to Germany ‘Illegally’. Then why should we always be the one to be put aside with conditions. It is time for the Nigerian Government to stand up to say no and pose conditions for agreement rather than taking the position of a stooge. The Ambassador spoke on the care on their parts so as not to infringe on the Laws of the host country but refused to note the situation of the reverse as the giving country.

Mr Ambassador has refused to answer one question up till date;
What are the criteria for identification? Is it by mere facial appearance, accent or stature?

On the issue of proofs presented by the German authorities on the identity of persons i.e
Bugging telephone conversation, tracing Money transfer; Is the embassy not aware of personal privacy according to international Law? Is it not possible for a Cameroonian to be in contact with persons in Nigeria? Can a Nigerian not transfer money to Cameroun? Why have the embassy kept silent on the abuse during the Ludwigsburg deportation hearing? How can Mr Sidi obviously deny the fact that Africans are brought into the venue handcuffed and traumatised with the obvious security parade during these hearing?

Mr Ambassador has always spoken about the conditions for issuing travelling certificate as;

1. Proof that all legal remedy has been exploited by the victim.
2. Proof of the victim being medically fit.

But the question in Munich was; Has the embassy any role in checking up the facts as it concerns the acclaimed criteria or depends on the documents presented by the German Police?
Mr Ambassador’s response was that they depended on documents submitted by the German police.
How much could his Excellency trust the same authorities he earlier professed to have the possibility of deporting to Nigeria with or without the embassy’s cooperation?

Nevertheless, as The Voice Forum, we shall not entertain compromise on any form of colonial collaboration and wish to further state that deportation in its totality is colonial heritage. Mr. Ambassador must take note that the issue cannot be solved by laundering the embassy’s image through visitation of the various Nigerian communities but rather, the embassy should redefine its operations and take up its actual duties.

The issue is not whether the problem lies from the time of his predecessor, what matters is how much the situation is better off in his time. So Mr Ambassador Rimdap, check up the situation of things in your time. The Embassy hearing since your deployment to Germany is worse than that of your predecessor.

The Ambassador in his defence confirmed during his visitation to the Nigerian communities as well as to the APC organised delegation visit about the contentious issue of “suspected” Nigerians (about 2500), for whom the German authorities demanded travelling certificate, only to later realize that more than 2/3 of that numbers were non Nigerians. This is the same authority the Ambassador is trusting with documents presented to facilitate deportation.

Just about October, another list of about 4000 suspected Nigerians resurfaced as confirmed to African Courier magazine reporter {November edition} during his interview with the embassy officials as well as the Ambassador pronouncement on his visit to the Nigerian community in Munich on 26th October 2008. That would mean a total 6500 names so far in 2008 from the German authorities and yet the Nigerian embassy has chosen to continues in its so called “cooperative role” in spite of the obvious intention of the German authorities to use them as agency for deportation of non Nigerians.

We are in the process of believing that there are TC {Travelling certificate} Racketeers in the Embassy as the Ambassador has claimed innocence in the massive deportation, without proper verification. The Ambassador also confirmed that he cannot doubt the possibility because TC is not a security document but just a stamp on paper as that he is aware of the complaint about corrupt Embassy officials which he claimed he is already looking into. On the Ambassador’s claim that he is only aware of 2 deportations to Nigeria since his deployment to Germany see as well as the November edition of the African Courier magazine to confirm that contradiction. We shall in no distant time make available the detail of those deported to Nigerian since he took charge of the Berlin office.

The Question now is who is responsible for this absurd deportation collaboration? The Ambassador and his boys claims to be the innocent, pushing blames on the Government back home but it becomes strange to figure out who is to blame when on the home page of the Nigerian Foreign Ministry, the conclusion of the foreign Policy statement states as follows; “”Nigeria’s foreign policy has been a commitment to Africa and Pan Africanism. On this context, all successive Nigerian governments have sought, among other things, to promote not only the Unity of all African States but also the total political, economic, social and cultural
liberation of Africa and Africans in the Diaspora.””

*We hereby call on Mr. Abdul-Kadir Bin Rimdap, the Nigerian Ambassador to make public the lists of all the Nigerians that have been deported to Africa since his deployment to Germany. We also call for a public statement on Why and How {Willingly or by torture} they were deported, the Airlines {commercial or private}, departure location from Germany and exact destination of the Victims in Africa. We also want a public statement on what happened to them during their deportation flights and on arrival in the destination, including the transited countries and as well as the actual record of Nigerians in the deportation Prisons in Germany based on stay permit?

Other Issues:

Another crucial issue is that of documents issued by the Nigerian Embassy in Berlin and its perception in the eyes of the German authorities. We are still in a fix about the Ambassador’s response to a question in Stuttgart on 14th September that even his own document was extra- screened by the German authorities and accused the ordinary Nigerians as being the cause. For those who were not carried away by the normal political defence strategy in his speech, it was a confirmation that even documents issue under his supervision were not to be trusted or deserved to be extra-ordinarily screened.

We would not forget the issue of the Embassy officials to Nigerians who are in need of consular attention that is their legitimate right. The telephone rings and no one is interested to pick it up and even when someone does, you’re dismissively treated. Worse still is that the embassy consular section is always having workloads which in turn frustrate Nigerians who needed urgent attention as the officials at that point in time are out for the Mobile hearing.

On the issue of people who are working in the embassy but actually were not supposed to be there according to the Ambassadors pronouncement in Stuttgart. Nobody in this case should tell him his duty because the diplomatic mission is not a place for touts or a motor park where anyone can operate the way he deems it.

It is shameful also to hear the Ambassador referring to those Nigerians having the German Nationality as having “the German passport of Convenience”. As this could be clearly interpreted to mean that the Nigerian Passport is not convenient hence its nationals are renouncing to obtain the otherwise. Indirectly, he was passing the message to the world that the Nigerian Nation was not convenient for us as ordinary citizens.

We call on Nigerian communities to be up to the task of addressing the welfare of the generality of Nigerians because experience has also shown that some of the communities still exist as an extension of the Local Progressive union we left behind in Nigeria.

Once again as The VOICE Refugee Forum, we are no part of the negotiation of bringing the deportation hearing to the embassy premises in Berlin.

We say stop deportation collaboration in its totality.

The VOICE Refugee Forum, Germany


No Deportation: Stop the colonial heritage!

We are here because you destroyed our Countries.

Immigrants and refugees in Germany are faced with threats of massive deportation. They are consistently denied the chances for asylum or regular stay as the German State is enforcing all efforts to expel them by force. With the Nigerian embassy taking the lead, some other African embassies in Germany plays a crucial role in this policy of exclusion and abuse by it’s so called “identification hearings” organised at different German regions on a monthly basis. The reason for such hearing is to facilitate the issuance of travelling certificate (TC) with or without actual verification of information for the deportation of those concerned.

Deportation is a colonial heritage that we must stand against in its totality. There is therefore a necessity for us to create a network for interaction so as to share experiences and be informed about the ongoing campaign against the de-humanising treatment that inevitably occurs in the process of deportation. And more importantly articulate plans for the way forward.

General consultations have confirmed that our Government position in this corrupt and ignorant cooperation that serves the interest of the western world only to enrich the pockets of our brutal dictators and the collaborators who stands to destroy us as ordinary citizens and silence our voices of dissent against the oppression, repression and brutality in the name of “agreement and cooperation”. We must therefore fight for ourselves.

We call on you to join us because; together we can make the difference to further our aims.

We demand:

Stop deportation and the dubious collaboration.

Respect for human dignity.

As Africans, we deserve better representation; deportation is no near solution to help develop Africa. The ordinary African must not be made to suffer the structural failure emanating from colonial setbacks.

We are co-ordinating a platform of activists in solidarity to call for the Nigerian – African community Forum ”NAF” to stand as a proper channel for information on the challenges in the Nigerian communities and the solidarity to promote awareness on our socio - political problems. There has been consultation with various Nigerian Community network in Bayern, Thüringen, Baden-Württemberg, Bremen with a call on Nigerians in Germany to join and support the protest.

The VOICE Refugee Forum, Jena

Protest Links: Nigerian Embassy Deportation Hearings in Germany
* Nigerian Activists Protest Against Deportation and Dubious Collaboration with German Autorities Stop the colonial heritage!

D E U T S C H :
Nigerianische Aktivisten protestieren gegen Abschiebung Stoppt das koloniale Erbe!

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