Terrorist Recruitment: Immigration Service Halts 23,472 Nigerians Traveling out of Nigeria.
***2 Cousins from Kano State going to join ISIS in Iraq arrested.
The Nigerian Immigration Service said yesterday that in the last fifteen months, running from January 2014 to March 2015, it has barred 23, 472 individuals from traveling out of the country to various destinations abroad from various departure points.
An Immigration source made the disclosure just at two Nigerians who are cousins from Kano State, Imran Kabeer (24) and Sani Jamilu (25) were caught at the weekend trying to illegally cross into Pakistan from India where they were students of a Delhi university in their bid to join the Islamic State group.
“The cousins were arrested on Friday 7 as they made their way allegedly to join the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq as they made to scale a barbed wire fence” the source said.
Giving more insight for stopping the Nigerians from travelling, the source said it is to prevent young Nigerians from being lured into terrorism, prostitution, slavery and other untoward activities abroad by unscrupulous individuals hence it has continued to be stringent in scrutinizing those intending to travel out of the country.
“There have been reports in recent times of some Nigerians departing to join terrorist groups especially in the Middle East and North Africa including children of serving and retired top functionaries” the source said.
Contacted on the development, Spokesperson for the Nigeria Immigration Service, Chukwuemaka Obuah said “what the NIS is doing is to bar young Nigerians with doubtful intentions from leaving our shores.
“Before the advent of ISIS the NIS have been battling with illegal migration, organized or otherwise.
“The push and pull factors have always been there and the NIS has fashioned a robust profiling mechanism that identifies those whose intent for going abroad is either inimical to themselves or the image of the country.
“The government exercise of diplomatic protection is exercised not only abroad but at ports of entry.”
He reiterated that “Nigeria is a catchment area for recruiters because of the high number of jobless people in the country” adding that “the terrorist group has a syndicate that arrange travel documents, visas, ticket and money for their recruits.
“To counter this, the NIS now engages in intense profiling of travellers. We have always had problems of Nigerians going abroad for greener pasture” he said.
“We look at the age of the intending traveller and the person he is travelling with, put them by the side and profile them thoroughly,” he declared.