The Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (CANUK), an umbrella body of all Nigerian organisations in the UK has distanced itself from the claim by UK-based Nigerian youtuber, Emdee Tiamiyu, that Nigerians see student visas as answered prayers and the easiest route to escape from Nigeria and live abroad.
CANUK, which is also responsible for youth and student affairs in the UK, in a letter addressed to Consular, Education and Welfare Section, and signed by its Assistant General Secretary-elect, Shoyemi Peper-Hade Shoyemi, said Tiamiyu spoke for himself and not on behalf of the thousands of students of Nigerian descent during his interview on BBC News on Tuesday.
The association expressed shock that the BBC chose to pick a random individual to speak on behalf of Nigerian students in the UK.
Recall that Tiamiyu during an interview with the BBC on Tuesday said that Nigerians see student visas as answered prayers and the easiest route to escape from Nigeria and live abroad.
He said that “People are looking for alternatives. They want to escape Nigeria,” adding that “The student route is more like an answered prayer,” and that it is a “big bracket that’s able to take a lot of people, the ordinary people.”
He added that “The student thing; it’s not like they need the degrees. They want the degrees as access to come into the country. So a lot of these people, their priorities shifted real fast. It’s not really about the education.”
But in the letter, CANUK said, “We listened and read the story credited to one Youtuber, Emdee Tiamiyu, who spoke for himself and not on behalf of the thousands of students of Nigerian descent on BBC News yesterday. Rather surprisingly, the corporation chose to pick a random individual to speak on behalf of Nigerian students in the UK.
“As a National Union of Students (NUS) delegate for three consecutive years and an NUS Black Student official, I know that if you need any information about students in the UK or you want to enquire about the well-being of all students, what you do is contact the union. Democratically elected officials are always on hand to offer informed interviews.
“Mr Tiamiyu is not a representative of Nigerian students and their dependents in the UK, so cannot speak for them. Canuk and all her three registered and recognised students bodies hereby state categorically that:
“We distance ourselves from Mr Tiamiyu‘s comments and his disparaging contributions do not represent the views or actions of the greater majority of Nigerian students and their dependents in the UK.
“He is not privy to any information regarding Nigerian students and their dependents in the UK as he has not attended any meeting with our representative bodies
“Mr Tiamiyu spoke for himself. If the BBC wants an informed position they should please contact CANUK, Nans, NSU UK or NSS.
“Nigerian students in the UK contribute to the diverse student population and bring their unique perspectives to the academic and cultural landscape of the universities they attend. Upon completion of their studies, many Nigerian students return to Nigeria to apply their acquired knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of their home country. Others may choose to pursue further education or explore employment opportunities in the UK or other countries.
“If BBC or any media want information about our student members, they should not hesitate to contact the appropriate quarters.”