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Nigeria’s president has warned his fellow citizens to stop trying to make asylum claims in Britain, saying that their reputation for criminality has made it hard for them to be “accepted” abroad.
Muhammadu Buhari, the tough ex-general elected last year, said those who had joined the migrant exodus to Europe were doing so purely for economic reasons rather than because they were in danger.
He added that because of the number of Nigerians imprisoned for law-breaking in Britain and elsewhere, they were also unlikely to get much sympathy.
“Some Nigerians claim is that life is too difficult back home, but they have also made it difficult for Europeans and Americans to accept them because of the number of Nigerians in prisons all over the world accused of drug trafficking or human trafficking,” he told The Telegraph.
“I don’t think Nigerians have anybody to blame. They can remain at home, where their services are required to rebuild the country.”
Mr Buhari, 73, made his remarks in a wide-ranging interview during a three-day trip to London, where he was among world leaders attending Thursday’s international conference on the Syrian crisis and the ongoing war on terror.
He won power last year on a pledge to take a firmer line with Boko Haram than his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, under whose watch the group kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Nigeria’s north east in 2014.
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