By Abdullahi M. Gulloma Abuja–
The Turkish government has requested for the extradition of over 1000 Turkish citizens in Nigeria for allegedly belonging to Fethullah Movement which the government declared a terrorists organisation. This was disclosed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, at the weekend to wrap up President Muhammadu Buhari’s fourday visit to Ankara and the D8 meeting in Istanbul.
“There was the request for the extradition of some of the Turks in Nigeria who have been given asylum to remain in Nigeria and recognised by the United Nations (UN) as political refugees and the Turkish government requested that we extradite some of them.
There was also the request that the schools and hospitals established by Gülen Movement should be closed in Nigeria. They now labelled them Fethtulah (FETO) as terrorists’ organisation.
“These were all issues that were lingering and complicating slightly relationship between the two countries. So, what this visit has been able to do I think is to put all those to rest and facilitated direct engagement and what I will call agreeing for a way forward between the two countries..
“Likewise, the Turkish government made that reassurance to Nigeria. So once they got those different issues out of the way, it was much easier and they were more able to focus on what will transform the lives of Nigerians and the Turkish people,” he said.
The minister listed areas that would have sparked off diplomatic crisis that the President was able to amicably resolve with President Erdogan to include the refusal of visas to some Turkish security personnel, IPOB issue, the delay in the issuance of Turkish visas to Nigeria and the request to increase the number of flights of Turkish Airlines into Nigeria,” he said.