New group Cardiff Migrant Solidarity have set up an anti-deportation campaign for Chijioke Elijah, A Nigerian Activist who was arrested in Bridgend on Tuesday 26th June. Chijioke Elijah is currently being detained at Colnbrook IRC and has been given removal directions for 5th July.

Chijoke was forced flee Nigeria in 2005 following an extremely violent attack on him, which left him scarred and unconscious.  He believes this was as a result of his activity with MASSOB a political organisation that works for the resurgence of the state of Biafra from Nigeria. His family and friends are extremely concerned that he may be deported to Nigeria imminently and are very worried about his safety there. Recent news articles show that the Nigerian police are regularly using lethal force to control crowds at MASSOB protests.

For the past two years Chijioke has been engaged to Lisa, a British citizen. Lisa and Chijioke are very much in love and Lisa’s family has welcomed Chijioke with open arms. If Chijioke is returned to Nigeria his relationship with Lisa will come to an abrupt end. With children and grandchildren in the UK Lisa is unable to relocate to Nigeria to be with Chijioke.

Chijioke would also be at risk because of the recent attacks on Christians in northern Nigeria.  After an attack by gunmen at the start of the year, which killed over 20 Christians, [3] the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram told all Christians to leave Gombe state, where the attack took place. As a pastor in his former church, Chijioke would be particularly at risk as attacks on Christians in Nigeria increase.

Cardiff Migrant Solidarity is calling for people to write letters to the UKBA and the Home Office on his behalf to try and reverse their decision to return him to Nigeria. His campaign is also online at NCADC where you can find a template letter.

Chijioke says, “I can’t go back to Nigeria. My life is in danger there. I have a family here and I don’t want to be separated from them. My partner Lisa is devastated and her children were crying all day yesterday when they heard what had happened.”

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