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Ambassador says criminal Africans carrying Nigeria passports

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Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

By Cecilia Ijuo

Nigerian non-career ambassadorial nominee, Commodore Yusuf Hinna (rtd.), has alleged that Ghanaians and citizens of other African countries obtained Nigeria passport to commit criminal activities.

The nominee stated this while responding to questions at his screening by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs in Abuja on Tuesday.

He told lawmakers that some of the criminal activities perpetrated in several countries of the world were by nationals of other African countries who hold Nigerian passports, and not by Nigerian citizens as often reported.

He said if confirmed as ambassador, he would embark on continual screening to determine citizenship and eligibility for obtaining the Nigeria passport.

On Xenophobia, Hinna said if confirmed and posted to South Africa, for instance, he would engage the country’s government in order to stop harassment of Nigerians living in the country.

“There are dislikes against Nigerians in South Africa. When Nigerians arrive, police dogs are used to sniff them at the airport.

“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 Nigeria passports.

“There is abuse of our green passports. There are security challenges, and we have to tackle them,’’ he said.

On threat to world peace, the nominee said “nuclear weapons are dangerous to world affairs’’.

He also spoke on the rise of different militant groups, particularly in Nigeria, who posed danger to security of lives and property.

The nominee called the Federal Government to curtail activities of such groups to protect the country against security threats greater than that currently posed by Boko Haram.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other nominees screened by the committee were Justice Sylvanus Nsofor (rtd) from Imo and Mr Joseph Olusola Iji from Ondo State.

President Muhammadu Buhari in a letter dated March 29, 2017, requested the Senate to re-consider Nsofor, who was earlier rejected for failing to scale through the initial process.

Iji nomination replaced Mr Jacob Daodu, who was also rejected by the Senate based on a report from the Department of State Security (DSS).

Hinna, from Gomber State, was nominated to replace Mr Suleiman Hassan, who was nominated to fill the ministerial slot of Gombe State. (NAN)

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