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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, has disclosed that some countries don’t respect Nigerian diplomatic passports because some have used the passport to commit armed robbery.
According to Wase, several Nigerians are in Japanese prisons for armed robbery despite having diplomatic passports.
He stated that this was disclosed to him by Japanese officials during an official visit to the country.
Wase made this known while contributing to a motion on the need to investigate the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
The Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu had moved a motion on Tuesday on the need to end the diplomatic row that could lead to deportation of Nigerians working in UAE.
The deputy speaker said the criminal exploits of some Nigerians in some country is affecting the image of the country.
Adding that even a diplomatic passport cannot save anyone from harassment.
‘I was in Japan some time ago for an official assignment, I was trying to claim that I have a red passport, that I should be treated specially. But the man told me, we have people for robbery in our prison yards making nonsense of our diplomatic passports. If you carry a diplomatic passport, you will get less attention,’ he said.
He called for stringent measures and vetting to ensure persons with criminal backgrounds are not allowed to travel.
‘How are they giving out the travel papers? Don’t we have screening? Are we not supposed to have SSS conducting checks on the people going out?’
‘If you are going out on genuine business, this parliament has a duty to protect you. If you go out to spoil our names and make all of us look like criminals, I think that is bad.’
Elumelu had disclosed UAE is refusing to renew the work permits of Nigerians because of the row.
He called for urgent legislative intervention into the row to forestall the deportation of those Nigerians.
It would be recalled that the Nigerian government had suspended Emirate Airlines over disagreement on COVID-19 test.
He stated that the “refusal by the UAE authorities to renew work permit for Nigerians living there is a calculated attempt to pressure the Nigerian Government into accepting their conditions of service for their national airline that may have lost humongous revenue from the Nigeria route.”
Following a long debate, the lawmakers resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK