The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria says it has received “great interest” from Nigerians seeking asylum, in light of the recent events in the most populous African nation.
A series of tweets on Wednesday from the official Twitter handle of the Commission say those who have plans to resettle in Canada should be mindful that a lot of misinformation and fake news have been spewn online.
The Commission clarified that Canadian embassies, high commissions, consulates, consulates general or honorary consulates do not accept refugee applications “directly from people”.
It stated that “you cannot apply directly for resettlement” but must be referred to Canada by “a designated referral organization or a private sponsor”.
“Canada works with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), other designated referral organizations and private sponsors to identify individuals in need of resettlement, and who are outside their home country,” the tweet read, alongside a Canadian goverment website, that gives details on how one can apply to visit or immigrate to Canada.
“Don’t be fooled by rumours or false information online. No one can guarantee that your immigration application will be fast-tracked or approved. Only a Canadian migration officer can decide if you can come to Canada.”
Starting October 8, #EndSARS demonstrations were held in Nigeria against police brutality which degenerated into deaths of civilians and security personnel, destruction of pubic and private property, and massive looting across the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he was on the side of peaceful protests seeking an end to police ills, but noted that the demonstrations had been hijacked by “hooligams” attempting to destabilise the country.
He called for a cessation of protest, and invited youths to the table for talks.
The recent reaction from the Canadian High Commission is coming after news reports emerged that Obianuju Catherine Udeh, better known as DJ Switch, had flown to Canada to seek asylum, for fear of her life.
The Nigerian DJ and songwriter, during the #EndSARS protest, on October 20, streamed an Instagram live which showed the attack on peaceful protesters by Nigerian security forces which led to the reported death of about a dozen with many injured.
Hours after the shooting, many had circulated rumours of the death of DJ Switch while other reports said she had been arrested by authorities.
But DJ Switch later refuted the rumours.
She is reportedly in Canada, as her safety in Nigeria is under question.