An umbrella body of Nigerians in Dubai, United Nigerian Stakeholders in the United Arab Emirate, has denied media reports accusing the Nigerian Consul-General to the UAE, Tayyibat Atinuke, of alleged indifference to the plight of Nigerians resident in the emirate.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that some sections of the media had quoted one Chidi Nwanyanwu, the spokesperson of the Take-It-Back Movement, claiming that the Nigerian Consulate in the UAE was doing nothing while its citizens were denied work permits in the emirate.
But addressing newsmen in Abuja, the President of the union, Auwalu Rabiu, said the claim was untrue, adding that the non-renewal of resident permits was not indiscriminate.
According to him, only those with criminal records were being shut out while those engaged in legitimate businesses continue to enjoy a warm relationship with the authorities in the UAE.
He said: “As an organisation whose members live and do businesses here, we are duty-bound to clarify that the UAE is a society governed by laws and does not tolerate any form of criminal indulgence.
“This largely explains why many rich men and women from our country home, Nigeria prefer UAE as its first travel destination.
“We as citizens and residents of UAE cannot, therefore, change the laws of the land that has given us economic means, hope and succour as we remain law-abiding to suit those with criminal mindsets.
“That the Consular General has been working round the clock to ensure that regular migrants in the Middle East country are united and have a conducive environment to perform their daily legal businesses.
“While we strongly condemn the statement issued by the said innocuous organisation priding itself as the Take-It-Back Movement and the very fact that the online media organisation which published the said report was whimsically unprofessional to the point of forgetting the earlier acclaimed investigations it published on the matter in their desperation to heap all the blames on the doorsteps of the Consul General, we honestly urge our workaholic Consul General not to be deterred by such rather mischievous publications targeted directly at her person and not premised on facts and issues.
“We demand them to retract the said obnoxious publication and kindly apologise to the Consul General as a matter of fact and urgency.
“Finally, Mrs Tayyibat Atinuke Mohammed, since her appointment has indeed brought many innovations onboard which afforded Nigerians doing businesses in UAE the grand opportunity for business interactions and economic interests cum values for both countries and particularly to our own benefits.
“We, therefore, pass a vote of confidence on her office and appreciate her enormous capacity as we further urge her to continue in her good works and efforts to see that the work permit problems are amicably resolved and our brothers and sisters’ places and pride restored.
“It is also wisdom on our path to urge our brothers and sisters to remain law-abiding and legitimate in their dealings here in UAE.
“They should always remember as they say in Nigeria’s local parlance, that when one finger deeps into the oil bowl, it definitely affects the entire fingers!”