Northern Cyprus no longer safe for Nigerian students

By Felix Khanoba

The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has raised an alarm over the killing of several Nigerian students in Northern Cyprus, saying the country is not safe to study.

“I received a petition from Justice Bello, whose son Ibrahim Khaleel, a 25-year-old student was killed in Northern Cyprus .

“Too many Nigerian students have died mysteriously in Northern Cyprus, a country not recognized by the UN. Only recognized by Turkey,” Dabiri-Erewa said on Monday in Abuja.

A statement made available to newsmen by NIDCOM, said Dabiri-Erewa, who received Hon. Justice Amina Ahmad Bello, a Judge in Kaduna State High Court in her office over the inexplicable death of her son, a third year civil Engineering Degree student of Girne American University in Girne (Kyrenia), Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus ( TRNC), warned parents to be weary of sending their wards to Northern Cyprus.

She insisted that the country should be blacklisted given the preponderance of Nigerian Students who have died mysteriously in that country without any prosecution or compensation whatsoever.

The NIDCOM boss said the Commission would work with the Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Mission in Turkey and other relevant agencies to ensure justice is done.

The statement signed by the spokesman of NIDCOM, Gabriel Odu, quoted Dabiri-Erewa as saying : “The time has come for us to blacklist all these Universities in Northern Cyprus and advise our students from seeking any form of admission there as it portends danger to their life and future.”

Earlier in an emotion laden voice, Justice Amina Ahmad Bello, mother of the deceased, said her insistence on justice was not only for her son but also other Nigerian Students who have died mysteriously in the Girne American University Girne (Kyrenia), and other Universities in Northern Cyprus.

She narrated how her son was allegedly murdered and covered up by the authorities in Northern Cyprus as well as the university’s authorities claiming it was a suicide mission having fallen from a seven-storey building.

She insisted that the report be investigated and all those found culpable be prosecuted as there was nothing to show that her son committed suicide.

Justice Bello said hours before her son was killed, she spoke with him, and he was expressing fears on his safety in the University environment.

“I don’t believe it was an accident or a suicide as i went to Cyprus barely 24 hours it happened and got to the mortuary where there was no scratch or wound on his body.

“I suspected foul play that my son was killed as the school was non- challant in breaking the news to me on my arrival there”

Justice Bello said hours before the boy died, he sent her a WhatsApp message that ” Mama, Please I want to come back home. Wallahi if i stay here, I will just die here without anybody batting an eyelash. I just need to come back home. Mama please try to understand that this isn’t a place for me”.

She alleged that it is possible some of the killed Nigerian students’ vital organs were harvested as her son’s stomach was opened and sutured when the corpse was finally released.

According to NIDCOM, the late Ibrahim Khaleel Bello was among about 100 Nigerians killed and murdered in mysterious circumstances from 2016 to 2020 without prosecuting any of the assailants.

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