House Issues Seven-day Ultimatum over Nigerian Students Held in Turkey

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Damilola Oyedele in Abujar
The House of Representative on Tuesday issued a seven-day ultimatum to Turkish Government to release over 50 Nigerian students being held in detention.

The students are studying at the Fathi University, one of the institutions owned by Gulen movement, which the Turkish government claimed was a terrorist organisation.

THISDAY had exclusively reported on Saturday that the students were detained on arrival at the airport, and were offered options of switching to state owned institutions but at the same cost which they pay at the private university.

The House, following a motion of urgent public importance by Hon. Solomon Bulus Maren (Plateau PDP) also called on the federal government to urgently deploy all diplomatic options to ensure their immediate release.

The Committees on Diaspora, Education, Foreign Affairs and Interior were also mandated to investigate the circumstances around the detention of the students, and proffer solutions to avoid repeated incidents.
Maren, in his submission noted that the incident mirrors a trend where Nigerian students abroad experienced hardship, torture, extortion and even death, in their quest to obtain education.

He cited several instances where Nigerian students have been mistreated, tortured, and even killed.
Hon. Nnanna Igbokwe (Imo PDP) accused Turkish authorities of retaliating to refusal of the Nigerian government to shut down Gulen linked schools and businesses operating in Nigeria.
He added that the Ministry of Education had explained that Turkish schools in Nigeria were registered as private entities.