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Ghanaians, other Africans abuse Nigerian passport, ambassadorial nominee alleges

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Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

A non-career ambassadorial nominee, Commodore Yusuf Jonga Hinna (retd.) from Gombe State, on Tuesday, alleged that Ghanaians and citizens of other African countries have obtained Nigeria’s international passports, some of whom commit crimes with the country’s identity.

The Senate had, on May 2, 2017, considered President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for legislative approval for his nomination of three persons as non-career ambassadors.

They are retired Justice Sylvanus Nsofor (Imo/renomination), Joseph Iji (Ondo/replacement) and retired Commodore Yusuf Hinna (Gombe/replacement).

Hinna, during his screening by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, told members of the panel that some crimes committed around the world were by nationals of other African countries with Nigerian passports.

While fielding questions from members of the committee, said if he received his posting, he would embark on a continuous screening exercise to determine true citizenship and eligibility for obtaining Nigerian passport.

Responding to concerns raised by Senator Gbenga Ashafa (APC, Lagos East) on how Hinna would confront the xenophobic attacks in South Africa if he was posted to the country, the nominee said he would engage the country’s government to stop the harassment of Nigerians living there.

He said, “There are dislikes against Nigerians in South Africa. When Nigerians arrive (in the country), police dogs are used to sniff them at the airports. If I am sent to such a country, I will engage the government so as to stop unwanted harassment.

“However, I recall that some Africans such as Ghanaians were arrested and they were carrying Nigerian passports. There is abuse off our green passports. There are security challenges and we have to tackle them.”

Responding to a question by Senator Jame Manager (PDP, Delta South) on which countries posed threat to world peace, Hinna cited the example of North Korea and it’s recent tests of nuclear weapons.

“Nuclear weapons are dangerous to world affairs. However, because Africa is not a target does not mean we should do away with it,” he said.

The nominee also said Syria and Iraq were potential threats to global security. He said, “The spill over of what is happening in Syria is such that there are people in our country such as the Shi’a movement that share the same ideology.”

He warned that should the Federal Government failed to check the activities off the group, the country might face any another security threat greater than Boko Haram.

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