According to Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), only a few Nigerians in Tunisia have agreed to return home. NiDCOM is currently in consultation with the Nigerian community in Tunisia, and the Nigerian ambassador to Tunisia, Asari Allotey, is assisting with the evacuation decision.
This development follows Tunisian President Kais Saied’s call for urgent measures against sub-Saharan migrants during a meeting of the country’s national security council on February 21. Saied claimed that sub-Saharan migrants were behind most of the crimes in the country and that their influx was a conspiracy to “change Tunisia’s democratic makeup.” This led to an increase in sackings, evictions, and attacks against migrants.
Dabiri-Erewa has stated that the Nigerian mission is working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to arrange tickets for the few Nigerians who have agreed to return to Nigeria. However, many other Nigerians in Tunisia are hoping that the situation will soon pass, following the intervention of the African Union (AU) and the African Group of Ambassadors.
While there is not a large community of Nigerians in Tunisia, as many of them were rescued from the Mediterranean after a failed attempt to cross from Libya, NiDCOM will update if they receive any requests for evacuation. The Tunisian president has denounced making racist comments and has warned that there may be legal consequences for perpetrators of racial attacks, according to NAN.