• Monday, July 15, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NIDCOM cautions MDAs, embassies against collaboration with “phoney” diaspora groups

NIDCOM cautions MDAs, embassies against collaboration with “phoney” diaspora groups

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has called on government ministries, agencies, embassies and high commissions to beware of phoney diaspora groups with sinister and political ulterior motives.

The call comes after Nigeria Diaspora Forum (NDF), a non-governmental organisation set up to “assist and help Nigerians in Diaspora” through engagement with embassies and high commissions, announced plans to establish an office in Abuja soon.

In the statement released through the NIDCOM media and public relations unit, Abdur-Rahman Balogun its chairman, expressed contempt and suspicion at the group’s motives.

“The so-called Forum, an arm of Labour Party, masquerading as a diaspora group, is not even registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission,” the statement said.

“We are aware that all registered Political parties including the ruling party, APC, PDP, SDP, NNPP and even LP, etc have diaspora chapters and support groups outside the country and do work to promote and champion their party ideals.”

The NDF established a home office in the nation’s capital city with Chike Amadichi, the chairman of the diaspora committee of the Labour Party (LP), as country director.

“It is equally sinister that an unregistered body with the Corporate Affairs Commission will fraudulently and boldly announce the setting up of an office to oversee the welfare of Nigerians in Diaspora in Abuja,” Balogun said.

“This is no doubt an attempt to fraudulently hoodwink unsuspecting members of the public, ministries, departments and agencies, embassies, high commissions as well as state and local governments.”

The Commission claims that it is the only mandated body by an act of the Parliament to oversee the welfare of Nigerians in the diaspora, in the last four years, advising government agencies at both the federal and state levels to double-check with NIDCOM the status of groups it seeks to collaborate with, assuring it has a database of all registered diaspora groups.

In alliance, The Asiwaju Group (TAG), a political group affiliated with the ruling party has called for a security raid of the NDF’s home office in Abuja and an interrogation of its members. In a statement announced on X, it claims the group’s connections could sabotage national unity.

“We cannot overlook the reported links between the NDF and individuals associated with groups that have actively sought to undermine Nigeria’s unity and stability,” it said.

“There are concerns that NDF’s pro bono services may be a trojan gift with links to questionable individuals, including Ekpa Simon Njoku, a self-styled prime minister who claims to have set up a laughable Biafra government in exile (Finland) and using covert agents to open offices across the globe to deceive unsuspecting citizens.

These allegations, if proven true, would seriously threaten national security and the well-being of Nigerians within and beyond our borders.”

The NDF is yet to comment on the matter.