Ahead of the general election slated to begin February 25, 2023, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has begun clampdown on foreigners residing illegally in Akwa Ibom State, and rounded up no fewer than 303 suspected irregular migrants in a mop-up exercise conducted at the weekend.
The comptroller of immigration service at the state command, Mrs Francisca Dakat, disclosed this to journalists after the operation stop-and-identify -yourself in Uyo, the state capital at the weekend.
She explained that the bulk of those apprehended were from Niger Republic, adding that out of the 303 arrested, 285 were adults while 18 were minors.
According to her, the mop up exercise was in line with the Service directive to ensure that non-Nigerians should not partake in the forthcoming general election.
She said that before the mop up exercise, the command had earlier carried out a sensitisation workshop for all non-Nigerians resident in the state.
Dakat said, “The mop up exercise which took place in Uyo metropolis will be a continuous exercise and will be extended to all the 31 local government areas of the state. The 303 suspected irregular migrants were profiled and 203 were confirmed Nigeriens.”
The NIS chief, therefore, urged non-nationals who are resident in the state and those who visited for business or leisure purposes to ensure that they have valid travel documents so as to guard against running foul of immigration extant laws.
The comptroller warned non-Nigerians against participating directly or indirectly in the forthcoming general election, stressing that “culprits will be punished accordingly.”
She commended the Comptroller General of NIS, the state government and other security agencies for their support to ensure success of the mop-up exercise.