By RICHARD NDOMA Calabar
Nigeria Immigration Service,( Cross River State Command) has frown against attitude of some traditional rulers and politicians in the state who issue certificate of Local Government of origin to foreign nationals through the backdoor without recourse to due process and national interest consideration.
The Comptroller of Immigration service in Cross River State, Barr. Okey Ezugwu raised the alarm while exchanging views with the Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Jonas Eteng Williams during a courtesy visit to the Speaker’s office in Calabar yesterday.
The Comptroller who expressed displeasure over the attitude of some traditional rulers who were in the habit of issuing letters of recognition to illegal immigrants without due process warned that the command would no longer tolerate such illegality any longer and advised foreign nationals intending to enter the state to follow due process instead entering the state through the backdoor.
“I came here to tell you so that you can assist me talk to our traditional rulers who were in the habit of issuing letters of recognition to foreign nationals without thinking of the dangers that such illegal immigrants can cause to our country.
“I believe that they would listen to you given tbe fact that you are a grass root politician and one with better influence that they would listen to.
“Men in uniform can not solve this very problem alone,our believe is that if you talk to them, they may listen”.The Immigration boss maintained.
Ezugwu stressed that if there is any state that is vulnerable in Nigeria apart from states in the north east, is Cross River, stressing that the vulnerability of the state stem from the fact that the state is situated close to the Calabar water way which is a stone throw to republic of Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.
He stressed that almost every Cameroonian residing in Cross River State before outbreak of the crises in Southern Cameroon is now a refugee.
“Even those who were here before outbreak of crisis in Southern Cameroon now claimed that they are refugees. I can not sit down here fold my hands and pretend as if all is well. This is a challenge which we must all tackle.
“Traditional rulers and the political class are more culpable and warned of the dangers of admitting illegal immigrants into the country with following due process. Ezugwu stressed.
In his remarks, Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Jonas Eteng Williams, who welcome the immigration team to his chamber, said he was please by the visit and promised to do every within his reach to ensure that issue of traditional rulers aiding and abetting illegal immigrants into the country is put to rest.
“We cannot sit and watch our country go the way it ought not to go and head towards a doom or destruction as a people we must do everything within our reach to ensure that our country is given maximum protection.
” We promised to begin campaign against reckless issuance of letters of recognition to illegal immigrants into the the state. Williams maintained.
He promised to tender the matter before the Assembly for proper deliberation by other lawmakers so as to curtail porosity at the border areas.