Rep. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, says the Federal Government has secured the unconditional release of Temitope Arowolo stranded in Lebanon. Akande-Sadipe said this in a statement issued by her media aide, Olamilekan Olusada, on Friday in Ibadan. Recall that Akande-Sadipe is representing Oluyole Federal Constituency of Oyo State at the Green Chamber.
She said that the release of Arowolo and other stranded Nigerians was a result of collaborative efforts of her committee and other agencies. The lawmaker listed the agencies as International Organisation for Migration (IOM), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She also cited the contributions of the Nigerian Ambassador in Lebanon, Goni Modu.
“With continuous efforts and pressure by the House of Representatives Diaspora Committee in collaboration with IOM, NAPTIP, NIDCOM, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Ambassador in Lebanon, Goni Modu, Temitope Arowolo was released last night.
“I am happy to inform Nigerians that Temitope will be home before the end of the week, and so many other Nigerians who want to come home from Lebanon. The opportunity will be provided for them to come home,” Akande-Sadipe said. She said that the Lebanese ambassador, Diab Houssam, had given an assurance of her safe return along with other Nigerian girls willing to come home from Lebanon. The lawmaker also said that the house committee would ensure immediate relief for Nigerian citizens groaning under severe injustice across the globe.
“It is important to inform you that about 35 Nigerians have been held illegally in detention for more than forty-five days in Ghana border town of Aflao and 18 held in Abidjan for over two years. “Sulaimon Olufemi is on death row in Saudi Arabia, while some of our girls are currently held hostage by a Lebanese man to mention but a few,” she said. Akande-Sadipe further lamented the brazen demolition of only the Nigerian High Commission building in Ghana under the supervision of the country’s authorities. She said that such action on the international scene was an open declaration of war.
The lawmaker, however, noted that the House of Representatives had taken up the challenge to holistically tinker with the nation’s foreign policy to reflect modern realities and aspirations. “As the people’s representatives, Nigeria can no longer continue to restrain our citizens from reciprocating the same treatment on nationals of countries involved in these dastardly acts on our people,” she added.
The committee chairman called for collaborative efforts of Nigerians in order to tackle the recurring menace to Nigerians in the Diaspora using Arowolo as a case study. “It is pertinent, therefore, to urge every stakeholder to volunteer information and commit to this partnership in the interest of all citizens. “This is because we will all be at risk sooner or later, directly or indirectly. These affected persons are children of some Nigerians,” he said.