The commission says that Northern Cyprus is not recognized by the UN and that many students were killed there.
The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has warned Nigerian students against traveling to Northern Cyprus.
Its chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stated this on Thursday in Abuja at a ministerial briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team.
She said Northern Cyprus was not recognized by the UNadding that many students were killed there.
“There were many problems in Northern Cyprus; the youth came to us to tell us, please tell everyone stop going to Northern Cyprus.
“Some time ago we did this and we were questioned about our right to tell people not to go to Northern Cyprus.
“I’ll say it again; if you have to go to Northern Cyprus, think twice; at least 20 students were killed over the years, and nothing happened to the attackers.
“Students who used to go there came to tell us that they should start an information campaign. Do not go to these places; Northern Cyprus is recognized only by Turkey,” she said.
Ms. Dabiri-Erewa added that NiDCOM will continue to call on Nigeria to take a firm decision on places like Northern Cyprus.
Voting of the diaspora
She said the commission would continue to engage with the National Assembly on the diaspora vote.
According to her, the commission discussed with both chambers of the National Assembly the need for diaspora voting, but its efforts were unsuccessful.
Members of the National Assembly recently voted against a bill that would have allowed the diaspora to vote in the Constitution.
“We interacted with the diaspora affairs committees in the parliament, both in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, in particular, for the diaspora vote, unfortunately, we did not succeed.
“The National Assembly is still not interested in the diaspora vote but we will not back down from further engagement with them because I believe and every person should know that the diaspora should be able to vote.
“So we hope that we will continue to interact with the parliament,” she said.
According to her, there is no controversy about voting in the diaspora, because a diaspora is someone who legally lives in another country.
Ms. Dabiri-Erewa explained that an illegal immigrant who has crossed the desert cannot be classified as a diaspora.
She added that in order to be a diaspora, one must be a legal resident with a name, address and proof of payment of taxes in that country.
“And it will even help us in defining diaspora for those who are worried, you’re going to vote not because you fled to another country, no, you have to be a legal resident.
“Don’t worry there may be some more. With the data we collect, no tribe is greater than another; there are about five million Nigerians in Sudan alone, it is true.
“So with the data we are collecting, you will see that Nigerians of all tribes are living all over the world.
“So, when the diaspora voting starts, it does not mean that we will start from scratch; that is left to INEC. You can start with personnel, maybe military personnel stationed overseas.
“We have to vote, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when it starts,” Ms Dabiri-Erewa said.
She said NiDCOM would continue to engage with Parliament on the matter.