Shafik Daiyob, the head of mission, Syria embassy in Nigeria, has revealed how the Nigerian recruiters of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq group got visas to join the terrorists in Syria.
The envoy clarified that many ISIS supporters who were given visas by the Turkish embassy entered Syria lawlessly through Turkey.
He made this known in an interview with Punch correspondent in Abuja on September 4, Friday.
The son of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria had received Turkish visa and crossed the Turkish border to join ISIS in Syria together with his family in February, 2015. Nothing has been heard about the ISIS supporter till date.
However, the Turkish embassy said it won’t answer to the claim until it is published.
Wunmi Ayantade, the secretary/personal assistant to the Turkish ambassador, said that the ambassador said he would respond only when he sees the published report of the charges against his mission.
The woman said: “I have conveyed your request for reaction to the ambassador, but he said he would not react until he sees the published report (of the Syrian accusations) in the papers.”
Syrian envoy noted that a large part of the 920 km border between Syria and Turkey is under the control of terror group, adding that terrorists’ penetration into Syria was facilitated by the Turkish authorities.
He said: “I am not accusing Turkey, but the Turkish officials have announced that and their utterances are quite clear on this and most countries in the world know this fact. Even United States has mounted pressure on Turkey to stop facilitation of terrorist organisations into Syria, it is not a secret, it’s well known all over the world.”
“Most of these ISIS sympathisers were from Nigeria, they were given the Turkish visas here in Nigeria, they are given visas to Turkey not Syria. Those who applied to our embassy are not ISIS sympathisers and they don’t share that ideology. Even those Nigerian supporters of ISIS that were published in the papers reached Syria through Turkey.”
“For Nigerians, they are required to state why they are going to Syria, their sponsor, introduction letter from the government or private company the applicant is working with, information about where the person would stay in Syria and so on. The information would be sent to Damascus for approval before the visa is issued. This process doesn’t take more than two weeks,” the head of mission added.
Daiyob further stated that majority of the insurgents in Syria entered the country through Turkey and Jordan by air, sea or land, emphasising that Turkey is a crossing point for the terrorists.
“Turkish/Syrian border is about 920 km and a large part of the border is under the control of terrorists supported by the Turkish government with support and facilitation from the Turkish government. That was how Turkey became a crossing point for majority of terrorists who come from all over the world,” he said.
Recall, Nigeria’s militant Islamist group in March 2015 vowed allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as ISIS, which rules a self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, according to an audio clip posted online.
The incumbent Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari has recently ordered Nigerian army to end the deadly insurgency in three months deadline.