By Emmanuel Obisue
National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has condemned the challenges being faced by Nigerian students in the United Kingdom, and has called on the Federal Government and other stakeholders to immediately take steps to ameliorate their plight.
A statement jointly signed by the NANS National Deputy Senate President, Comrade Ekundina Elvis Segun and NANS Ogun Joint Campus Committee Chairman, Comrade Kehinde Damilola Simeon, on Sunday in Abuja, warned that the students would not hesitate to apply “our instrument of force to shutdown the UK embassy in due time if these problems persist”.
“Our attention has been drawn to the inconvenience, frustration and deliberate witch-hunting of Nigerian students in the UK are facing in the last few days.
“We have received complaints directly and read series of painful revelations by Nigerian students abroad and their parents who are faced with the risk of being deported after so much resources, both academic and materials, had been expended on seeking admission and travelling to the UK to pursue their academic goals.
“In the last 48hours of the report in the press, we have communicated with our colleagues and friends who are students in the UK to establish direct report with facts. Through this, we have identified some of the numerous challenges to be;
“Deliberate efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to frustrate the naira exchange and conversion for the student which make the students to be exchanging as much as #900 for £1 and more.
“Inaccessibility in obtaining accommodation due to delay in money transfer and other processes frustrated by the CBN.
“Inhumane treatment which is not far from modern day slavery and trafficking deliberately to frustrate Nigerians out of the UK.
“The irresponsible and lackadaisical attitude of both the Nigerian embassy in the UK and Nigerian Diasporan Commission towards the plights of Nigerians,” the statement read in part.
It added, “Cancellation of enrolment due to Form A issues and slow response of their Nigerian banks and many other challenges.
“Notable among the institutions where these problems are harsh is the University of Hull and Reading University. We have established from our local and international contacts that Nigerians are the only set of people facing these problems.
“In summary, we can ascertain that the Nigerian government and some devilish politicians are behind these predicaments. Our assertion is verifiable from several statements made by some politicians of the ruling party in the country.
“Our conclusion is that these politicians who have contributed to the destruction of education in their respective states as governors or Honourable are doing everything possible to frustrate Nigerians seeking quality education elsewhere.
“We demand for the recall and interrogation of both the Nigerian Ambassador to the UK, Sarafa Tunji Ishola, and the Chairman Nigerian Diasporan Commission, Abike-Dabiri, by the House of Assembly as we no longer feel confident that they are not compromising the interest of poor Nigerian citizens”.