Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has revealed that a trip she took to the Indonesian prison some years back revealed that out of the 21 Nigerian drug peddlers on death roll, 20 of them were from Anambra state while the remaining one was from Edo state.
Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this in a recent interview with The Cable. She noted that the commission is working towards creating awareness against the ills of drug trafficking, particularly reminding Nigerians as they collect their passports that death awaits them in some countries should they venture into drug trafficking.
Responding to a question on whether the commission provides counselling to Nigerians arrested for drug trafficking just as some other countries do, she said:
The commission is planning that. So, with the commission on board, we are going to take it embassy by embassy. For example, if you are going to Indonesia and you carry drugs, you are dying. There is no debate. We went to Indonesia prison some years back, 21 Nigerians were on death row, and 20 were from one state – 20 were from Anambra state, and one from Edo. And when you get to the (Indonesian) airport, it is written all over, “penalty for drugs is death”.
So, from the point of leaving, we are going to be working with the NDLEA, with the embassies; in fact, as you collect your passport, they will tell you if you carry drugs, you are going to die. So, that is what the commission will be doing from country to country.
In India, for instance, if you say you are going to study, and you are going as a student. If you finish your education and you stay there, they will lock you up. India will not give you work. They will not employ you. So, we are going to have an information center that will be dealing with all those issues. We are going to have a place that you can call if you are in distress. That is almost at the final stage, so yes, it is important to share information. But I tell you, despite sharing this information, some will still do (what they want). But at least, let us know that we have given out all this information”.