The Canadian government said it’s working with U.S. visa officials in Nigeria to mitigate the surge of migrants coming to the United States seeking a safe haven in neighboring Canada.
There’s a growing number of Nigerian asylum seekers who legally travel to the United States on a visa and stay for a brief time before attempting to cross the border into Canada, according to the Canadian government. In response, three Canadian officials have been stationed to work with U.S. visa officials in the Nigerian city of Lagos to “combat abuse of U.S. travel documents,” the government announced in a press release Monday.
“Coming across the border in a way that seeks to circumvent our procedures is no free ticket to Canada,” Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale said in a statement. “We will continue to ensure an orderly managed border, including the compassionate treatment of those who genuinely need Canada’s protection. And we will continue to work with the United States to deter the misuse of travel documents that has helped drive the influx.”
Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen will also travel to the West African nation this month to meet with Nigerian officials about the issue.
“Our government’s priority first and foremost is to ensure that all laws are followed to protect the safety and security of Canadians,” Hussen said in a statement.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment Wednesday.
More than 25,000 asylum seekers were apprehended by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, mostly in Quebec, as they crossed “irregularly” into Canada from the United States between the ports of entry from January 2017 through March of this year. The influx of irregular border-crossers appears to be on the rise, and there’s concern the number will soar as the weather warms up.
The number of asylum seekers apprehended by the national police force in the first three months of this year was more than double the amount in the same period last year. And last year, the number intercepted at the border more than tripled in July and August, according to figures from the Canadian government.
Many of the asylum seekers crossing into Canada last year were Haitians who feared they would lose their temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States, after President Donald Trump’s administration announced it will end the program for Haitian immigrants by July 2019.
So far this year, most of the asylum seekers crossing into Canada by land have been Nigerian citizens, the Canada Border Services Agency confirmed to ABC News.
“Nigerians do not want to settle in the U.S. but in Canada. It is much easier for a citizen of Nigeria to obtain a tourist visa for the U.S. than for Canada,” Stephane Handfield, an immigration lawyer in Montreal, told ABC News in French. “So they get a U.S. tourist visa, stay a few days in the U.S. and cross the Canadian border.”
Handfield said it’s also easier for asylum seekers to obtain refugee status in Canada than in the United States.
Nigerians are fleeing their home country for a number of reasons, such as poverty, persecution and violent conflict, including Boko Haram’s years-long insurgency. The Nigeria-based jihadist group, which seeks to establish an Islamic state, has killed more than 20,000 people and displaced some 2.3 million since 2009, according to the latest figures from the United Nations.
“When people are fleeing persecution, whether they’re in Nigeria or elsewhere, they will take whatever method and route is available to them,” John Cockell, spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canada, told ABC News. “International humanitarian law recognizes this and that’s why asylum seekers are not penalized for entering a country using irregular means, as many choose to do in the case of Canada.”
“We feel [Canadian] authorities have actually done a very good job with managing the increased numbers,” Cockell added.
The Canadian government said it will build new facilities for short-term accommodations at a popular border crossing into the province of Quebec from New York state. Canadian officials will also fast-track work permits for asylum seekers, so they can financially support themselves and their families while they wait to see if their claim for protection is granted.
“While we adhere to international conventions and want to offer asylum to those fleeing persecution and war, the fact remains that there are very specific laws, rules and criteria to be respected in order to find refuge in our country,” Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau said in a statement.
I Am The Voice Behind Psquare’s Hit Song ‘Story’ – Helen Paul
Nigerian comedian, Helen Paul has revealed she was the voice behind ‘Uncle, please tell us a story’, in Psquare’s ‘Story’, a song released in 2005.
She revealed this in a recent interview on the Honest Bunch Podcast, stating that she was a receptionist at the time and that she got the gig after the children who were meant to do the voiceover failed to show up.
Her words: “At the beginning, I didn’t know P Square. I didn’t even know they were going to blow. They came to the studio, and they wanted to record their songs. I think they were expecting some children to come and got disappointed. So, Ayoadeife said, “We have somebody who can do this voice, and this person can do all the range children,” she added.
“I didn’t know what range was, but I was just very good at imitating voices to date. I was a receptionist then, and when they told them, they agreed. And the guy just said, Helen, ‘You will work in the nights, but we’re not paying much. I said, I don’t care; just buy me a ‘soft drink’, because I loved it at the time.
“So they gave me the job, and I did the voicing of the children in the song. So they merged all the different children. So it sounded full. When the song started reigning, I didn’t even know what it was to put your name on a song; I didn’t fight for it.”
Helen Paul also revealed that her voice got her many jobs, and she moved from earning N9,500 monthly to over N400,000 monthly.
She said, “The next job I did was for another milk product. I was at the reception when they brought this job, and they told me the child that was to do it was having exams. They said they would not be able to take that in the office because the advert needed to air at 3 p.m. and it was 12 p.m., so they were looking for a baby voice.
“Uncle Ayo said, ‘Let’s try Helen’ and they brought me in to lay the voice, which I did. After the ad, I signed a paper for which I didn’t know the content. At that point, my salary was N9,500; I started receiving about N400,000 or N450,00 every month.”
Davido’s Aide, Israel DMW, Announces Marriage Crash
Davido’s Logistics Manager, Israel Afeare, popularly known as Israel DMW, shared news of the end of his marriage to his wife, Sheila, in an Instagram post on Saturday.
In his detailed account, Israel DMW revealed that Sheila left their home on August 8, 2023, despite his substantial support since their marriage.
Israel also detailed acts of generosity, such as providing financial support, upgrading her phone, and indulging in shopping sprees for her.
Despite these efforts, he described a shift in Sheila’s behaviour after their wedding, where she sought to impose standards on him, believing she had achieved status as a prominent figure on Instagram.
Additionally, Israel DMW pointed out that marrying someone from a Christian background and being a virgin did not ensure peace in his case.
He highlighted that his wife accused him of being a slave to his boss, Davido.
He said, “Marrying a lady because you met her during evangelism as a virgin, a pastor’s daughter, a member of the same Winners Chapel church, might not guarantee anything peace at all. Don’t be too eager or quick to trust people. People can change at any time.
“People can be very ungrateful and deceptive. I met Sheila on February 19, 2022. We became friends, which later became intimate.
“She told me she would only lose her virginity to the man that would marry her since her Ugep, Cross River, mother, who’s now 41, had earlier married two different men, with two kids, before marrying her father and that she was overdue at 21 for marriage.
“We fully agreed with her terms and conditions. I immediately upgraded her unkept situation by giving her 300k and replacing her tattered phone of less than 60k with a new iPhone 12 Pro Max of 860k in less than two weeks.
“I later also replaced the 12 Pro Max with a brand 14 Pro Max of 1.2m that she uses to slay. I did a lot of shopping for her.
“Bought her clothes and bags, including expensive human hairs she’s using without sleeping with her then. I later proposed, and she fully accepted. We later did a legal introduction to traditional and white weddings in Benin City.
“Sheila immediately changed by showing her authentic self after our wedding and wanting to set standards for me. She now felt she was blown as Juju’s wife, fully verified on Instagram, with more followers from her earlier struggling 3k followers when I met her.
“A fully sapa girl I met with just 2,700 in her account. I have never raised my hands on her any day. I don’t beat women at all. I respect them so much. The least money for her upkeep was 100k. She now wakes up to tell me that I derive dignity in begging my oga, that I am fully a slave, and that I am disgracing her on social media.
“I had earlier taken her to show same oga for the first time before we wedded when we were in Abuja Transcorp Hilton, and oga asked her straight forward if she was ready for marriage, and she fully answered by saying yes and oga immediately gave her 500k for airtime. Oga was fully present in Benin for my wedding, after cancelling a 140m show appearance. Oga,”
Court Remands Ex-CBN Governor, Emefiele In Kuje Correctional Centre Over Alleged N1.6bn Fraud
The Federal Government has arraigned the immediate past Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, before Justice Hamza Muazu of the FCT High Court on a six-count charge bordering on alleged N1.6bn procurement fraud.
Emefiele however pleaded not guilty to all charges after it was read to him on Friday in Court.
Justice Muazu therefore adjourned the case till November 22 for ruling on the bail application of Emefiele and November 28 for the commencement of trial.
In the interim, the presiding Judge ordered that Emefiele be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre.
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