Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Victoria and Ihuomu Deserve A Second Chance.

According to Nigerian World Victoria Sharon Ordu and Ihuomu Favour Amadi are two undergraduate students from Nigeria at the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada who are facing deportation because they worked at Walmart for two weeks. The girls' student visas allow them to work within their university campus only. The girls claimed they were unaware of this work restriction, but that the ceased working immediately they were told about it. But before then they had worked at Walmart in Regina for two weeks, and that was the beginning of a nightmare and efforts to deport them by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).ictoria Sharon Ordu, left, and Ihuoma Favour Amadi at an undisclosed location on Tuesday.

CBSA actually scheduled the girls for deportation on June 19, 2012 but somehow the girls evaded this fate. One of them, Ihuomu was put in handcuffs by two CBSA agents when they arrested her at Walmart during her second week on the job. There is no doubt that putting her in handcuffs was over-the-top and excessive, an act that is going to likely fuel another round of bad blood between Nigeria and Canada. Just last month the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister Professor Olugbenga Ashiru summoned the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria Chris Cooter to protest the shoddy treatment being meted out to Nigerians in the application and process of Canadian visa. It is sad to note that Canadian officials tend to treat non-Caucasians with so much disrespect, poorly, and rudely, and they easily profile you and presume you are a criminal until you prove them wrong. It is very unlikely this drama would not have reached this stage if the CBSA had worked with the staff and management of the University of Regina, who are eager to have the girls return to class and have been trying to reach the Canadian immigration minister.
Victoria and Ihuomu are currently holed up inside a church and have been there for three months trying - along with their sympathizers - to persuade CBSA and the immigration minister to let them stay and complete their degree programs. One of the girls, Ihuomu Amadi told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an interview that "We acted out of ignorance but now we realize that what we did was wrong. So we're just asking for mercy." The girls have suffered and are still suffering great pains, fear and anxiety, and worried that all their hard work, determination to earn a degree and student life in a land that is more than seven thousand miles from home will come to nothing if the minister of immigration, Honorable Jason Kenney did not reverse the extradition order. It is shocking that a sledge hammer is being used to kill an ant by CBSA. The punishment grossly outweighs the crime, and that is what the management of the University of Regina has been trying to point out to CBSA and the immigration minister.

Culled from Nigeria World

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