For 21-year-old Musa Isa, who is from the Niger Republic, his major mission to Kwara State, Nigeria was to work and get money to feed himself and later marry. Isa was one of the 120 illegal immigrants arrested and paraded by the Nigeria Immigration Service, Kwara State Command, on Thursday for not having valid documents.
He said he had stayed in Kwara State for about 10 years without documents and without arrest until Wednesday when he was nabbed by immigration officials. Isa also said he had been doing menial job, offloading cement in Ilorin for about 10 years. “The immigration men caught me and brought me here. They caught me because I am from Niger. I do not have my travel documents. I have been here for about 10 years. I have all my people with me. “I offload cement bags as a labourer. I stay at Lajorin, Muritala.
I want to come back to Nigeria. I will prepare my paper. I love Kwara State because I see food to eat, but in my place we do not have much food to eat. I am also looking for money to marry.” Another illegal Immigrant, Mumuni Hassan, said he was from the Niger Republic but came to Offa, Kwara State, about two weeks ago to work as a cobbler. He also said that he found Offa more lucrative for his work than his country. Hassan said, “I came here about two weeks ago. I will come back to Nigeria.
I will prepare my documents.” The Public Relations Officer, NIS, Kwara State Command, Mr. Adesola Adeyemi, said the 120 illegal immigrants were arrested during the command’s periodic mop-up exercise. He stated that 97 of the immigrants were from the Niger Republic while 23 were from the Republic of Benin. He said officials of the command also intercepted a truck with registration number, KATSINA XA 621 KAT, that was loaded with 46 passengers in Ilorin on the suspicion that the passengers were from the Niger Republic. According to him, after investigation, it was confirmed that the travellers were from the Niger Republic.
He said it was not established that the immigrants were to be involved in electoral malpractices. “We could not find anything on them that showed that they came for election, but we should move to make sure that we nip any security threat in the bud.” Adeyemi said the illegal immigrants were ECOWAS citizens, but were to be repatriated to their countries because they did not have travel documents. He advised them to go through the laid down procedure and get their documents if they genuinely wanted to return and work in Nigeria.