The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has asked the Federal Government to repatriate 199 illegal Togolese immigrants presently camped at the Lagos Emergency Resettlement Centres in Igando and Agbowa areas of the state.
The Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, in a statement on Monday, said the state could no longer continue to accommodate the illegal immigrants due to limited facilities at the resettlement centres.
He said when the immigrants were seen at Ikoyi area of Lagos, Ambode directed that the relevant state agency should accommodate them pending the response from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Bello said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nigeria Immigration Service were notified but that they have not done anything to repatriate the illegal aliens.
The statement partly read, “Surprisingly, the state government realised that these ministries have not taken any step to address the situation because the numbers of illegal immigrants from Togo have continued to increase daily. As of today, the number of Togolese illegal immigrants has increased from 114 to 199, putting serious pressure on the limited spaces at the two camps.
“Investigations by the state showed that the Togolese immigrants were expelled from Benin Republic where they had lived for over 10 years. They came to Lagos and because of the accommodation provided by the state government at its ERCs, these illegal immigrants at the Igando camp started calling their friends and family on the telephone in Benin Republic to come to Nigeria, telling them that they now have a new home. By last weekend, another 85 illegal immigrants of Togolese descent were taken to the ERC, Agbowa.”
Bello said that that the state’s magnanimity to illegal immigrants in distress should not be abused as the resettlement centres were built to accommodate Lagosians and Nigerian citizens during emergencies and period of disaster.
“These two emergency facilities as of today are seriously been overused and can no longer accommodate anybody. What becomes of legal residents of the state in case of an emergency occurs? The Nigeria Immigration Service is, therefore, advised to ensure that the nation’s borders are well manned by not giving room to any form of compromise at all times.”