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Italy not harassing law-abiding Nigerians – Unions

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Italy not harassing law-abiding Nigerians – Unions

The National Union of Nigerian Associations in Italy, NUNAI, and Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Europe, NIDOE, Italy say lawabiding Nigerians living in Italy are not harassed by the authorities.

The unions made this known in a joint statement made available to the Nigerian news agency on Friday in Abuja after a crucial meeting of the two unions.

The communiqué was signed by Pastor Mike Oputteh for NUNAI and Omorondion Iduhun for NIDOE.

The unions said Nigerians have enjoyed friendly relations with the host country and the same with the various communities that house the people, regardless of color or language.

They said their resolutions came in response to allegations of harassment and illegal detention of Nigerians by the Italian government instituted by Osaze Ero, a former commissioner in Edo.

They noted, however, that they would never argue that a Nigerian citizen was mistreated by the Italian authorities.

The union expressed its determination not to allow all law-abiding Nigerians who have a legitimate residence in Italy to be treated with partiality or hostility by the Italian authorities.

“We do not exclude the fact that there have been occasions where Nigerians have been involved in affairs in Italy, just as it has happened to other nationals living here and even Italians.

“But, it must be said that everywhere or whenever a case of violation of the fundamental rights of any Nigerian national in Italy is reported.

“The swift intervention of our unions and / or the Nigerian Embassy in Rome has always ensured that such cases are resolved swiftly, either through dialogue or through legal procedures, and ultimately, justice prevailed.

“We must see fit to mention here that Nigerians, as well as other nationals who live in Italy, have enjoyed friendly relations with our host country.

“Same thing with the different communities that house our people, regardless of color or language,” the unions said.

The union said after a meeting at the Nigerian Embassy in Rome, it made resolutions, including not ignoring Ero’s right to speak out or supporting the mistreatment of Nigerians in Italy.

“Among the issues discussed was a petition from Ero, a former commissioner in Edo who visited Italy some time ago and who claimed to have been unfairly detained by law enforcement officers in Italy.

“After having objectively studied Mr. Ero’s petition which he entitled“ Mafia propaganda against Nigerians in Italy ”, we believe that justice is best served through the appropriate channels and by following the appropriate procedures of the law.

“In light of the above, NUNAI and NIDOE frown at the fact that Mr. Ero preferred to launch his petition on social media,” they said.

They frowned at a situation where Ero did not report his experience to one or both of these bodies, where he can seek redress through due process.

“We frown at Mr. Ero’s negligence or utter disregard for due process in failing to report his ‘unlawful detention’ in Italy to the Nigerian Embassy in Rome for diplomatic intervention, but instead we resorted to a campaign of slander as a means of seeking redress.

“NUNAI, through a prominent EXCO member, has been in contact with Mr. Ero in Nigeria, where he currently lives, and drafted his petition, to hear his grievances.

“And we are working with the Nigerian Embassy in Rome to verify the veracity of its claims and determine the best approach to justice,” they said.

Both unions commended Mfawa Abam, the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy and the entire mission, for the efficiency and patriotism with which they have handled the affairs of Nigerians in Italy.

They also urged Nigerians living in Italy and other parts of the world to stay law abiding and register with unions wherever they go so that they can be properly documented and counted.

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