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TUNISIA: Nigerians insist on staying despite state-sanctioned racist attacks

THE Federal Government has revealed plans to commence evacuation of Nigerians resident in Tunisia over consistent racist attacks.

Reports emerged some days back that scores of Nigerians had fled their homes in Tunisia amid state-sanctioned attacks.

But the government however noted that only few Nigerians are willing to leave the country.

Tunisian President, Kais Saied, had recently announced that sub-Saharan migrants were on a mission to weaken the country’s Islamic Arab identity and their presence in the country has to end.

Speaking during his country’s national security council meeting convened on the matter, President Saied had referred to the migrants who have sustained the country’s informal economy with surplus cheap labour as “hordes of illegal migrants.”

He also argued that their presence in the country was a source of “violence, crime, and unacceptable acts.”

Giving an update of the situation of Nigerians in Tunisia via a series of tweets on Monday, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), said the Nigerian government was on the verge of evacuating affected Nigerians.

Dabiri-Erewa, however, said the number of Nigerians willing to leave the country was minimal.

She wrote: “Here is an update on the situation in Tunisia, where blacks have been victims of racial attacks. Our Ambassador is in consultation with the Nigerian Community, on a decision on evacuation. Those that have agreed to return to Nigeria are very few and the mission is working with the IOM to arrange tickets for them.

“The many others want to wait it out, praying it will soon pass, following the intervention of the AU and the African Group of Ambassadors.

“Though we don’t really have a large community of Nigerians in Tunisia as many of them are those rescued from the Mediterranean after a failed attempt to cross from Libya, the mission will update if they do request to return.”

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