The Benue Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service said on Thursday it arrested 251 suspected illegal aliens in Makurdi.
Parading the suspects before newsmen in Makurdi, the Controller, Mr Thomas Bagobiri, said the service was determined to fish out illegal immigrants in the state, adding that the suspects were arrested after investigations.
“We are aware of the state of insecurity in the country and the state; we would not allow foreigners to disturb the peace and unity of our citizens.
“We are going to interrogate them to establish their nationality; if they are foreigners and have resident permits.
Bagobiri said after the investigation, those found guilty would be deported to their respective countries.
He said although one is legally permitted to live in Nigeria; if his activities are against the laws of the land he would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
He said that the service would investigate the landlords and hosts of the suspects, adding that those found wanting would be punished.
Bagobiri appealed to Nigerians, especially residents of the state to go about their normal activities and to report any suspicious persons to the service for investigation.
“As Nigerians, love your country and do not harbour illegal people in your homes. Report them for the law to take its course,’’ he said, adding that failure to do so would attract sanctions.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the suspects were arrested while in possession of machetes, axes, charms, live ammunitions and other dangerous weapons.
One of the suspects, Bashiru Idrisu, who claimed to be a native of Katsina State, said he was in the state to carry out wheel-barrow business.
“I came to Benue last week to carry out wheel-barrow business. I am from Buro Local Government Area of a Katsina State.
“This morning, I was sleeping in my house at Wurukun when the Immigration officers came and arrested us.
“We did not do anything, and we are yet to be inform of our offence.’’
NAN reports that the suspects included water vendors, shoe-makers, among other artisans.nartisans. NAN