NiDCOM lists 13 Nigerians found dead in Northern Cyprus, according to not exaggerated travel advisory

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has released a list of 13 Nigerians found dead in Northern Cyprus over the past six years.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of the commission, however, said in a statement on Thursday that the commission’s recent warning was not meant to scare off Nigerians interested in traveling to northern Cyprus.

The federal government had, in 2020, parents informed against sending their children to universities in northern Cyprus because of the “continuing and mysterious murders of Nigerian students”.

The NiDCOM chairman had said it was difficult to adopt international diplomacy in investigating cases in northern Cyprus, as the country is only recognized by Turkey.

In August 2022, the government issued another warning to Nigerians, advising them not to travel to northern Cyprus.

According to NiDCOM, the reason for the warning was the human rights abuses and the difficulty faced by the federal government in getting justice for the Nigerians killed there.

“Think twice before going to Northern Cyprus. We can’t do much for the Nigerians there. Our students are being killed daily,” Dabiri-Erewa said.

In the statement released Thursday by NiDCOM spokesperson Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the commission said that attempts to address issues relating to the welfare of Nigerians in the country had not been successful.

“It will be remembered that the Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and a NiDCOM team visited the Turkish Embassy twice to discuss issues related to the welfare of Nigerians in Turkey and Northern Cyprus, but received no response from the Turkish Embassy. ‘ambassador,’ the statement read.

“It is common knowledge that we regularly receive petitions from Nigerians, especially from parents whose children have been victimized in one way or another in Northern Cyprus.

“As we pray for the rest of the souls of many students who died in mysterious circumstances in Northern Cyprus, we also pray and hope that only good stories would now emanate from Northern Cyprus.

“Above all, what we have given is advice consistent with our citizen diplomacy. You have the option to enter or ignore. This should not be construed as an exaggeration or an attempt to scare off potential travelers to North Cyprus.

NiDCOM also listed 13 Nigerians found dead in Northern Cyprus whose cases had remained unsolved from 2016 to date.

See the details listed by the commission below.

  1. Ibrahim Khaleel Bello, 25, son of Kaduna State High Court Judge Amina Bello (2020)
  2. Kennedy Taomwabwa Dede, 28, student at Eastern Mediterranean University (killed February 1, 2018)
  3. Near East University marine engineering student Walshak Augustine Ngok (killed April 19, 2019)
  4. Gabriel Soriwei, first year electrical electronics student at Cyprus International University, Nicosia
  5. Osabanjo Adeola Owoyale, 33, disappeared and was found dead on July 1, 2019.
  6. Augustine Wallies, killed April 19, 2019
  7. Stanley Eteimo (28 years old)
  8. Hassan Babatunde (28 years old)
  9. Temitayo Adigun
  10. Kubiat Abasi
  11. abraham okon
  12. Oziegbe Gospower Airekugose
  13. Ope Olasubomi

NiDCOM has also refuted allegations of a viral letter allegedly sent by Hidayet Bayraktar, Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, to the Chairman of the Committee on the Welfare of Nigerians Living in Northern Cyprus.

According to the alleged letter, the Turkish ambassador said the NiDCOM warnings could fuel tensions, adding that cases involving Nigerians were being investigated.

“No official letter has been received in our office to date except for the unsigned one circulating in the media. However, we thank the Ambassador and are pleased that our recent press briefing elicited his response. regarding the unfortunate incidents in northern Cyprus,” the commission said.

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