By Dare Lawal
Folowing the failed attempt last weekend to deport an ill Nigerian man, Ifa Muaza, the UK home secretary, Theresa May, has come under fire to explain her actions which many believe were done without humanity or compassion.
The seriously ill Muaza, who was carried to the plane on a stretcher after a 90-day hunger strike, was returned to the UK after a 20-hour flight that saw the plane prevented from entering Nigerian airspace.
The opposition party in that country, Labour Party, called on May to explain her actions.
“Theresa May needs to explain how this case has been handled,” shadow immigration minister David Hanson said. “How could the Home Office put a man in this medical condition on a long flight at taxpayers’ expense with no agreement from anyone that the plane could actually land? Deportations should be carried out with competence and humanity. Neither of those things seem to have happened in this case.”
The government has been criticised for several weeks by human rights groups, celebrities and parliamentarians, that its attempt to evict the man was in order to score political points.
On Sunday a Liberal Democrat member of parliament Julian Huppert described the case as shocking and said he would be tabling an urgent question in the Commons.
It is understood the UK Home Office spent between £95,000 and £180,000 on the flight, after a previous deportation attempt on a scheduled Virgin Atlantic flight was cancelled.
The Nigerian man says he is terrified of being sent back to Nigeria after defying the terror group Boko Haram by refusing to join their ranks.
Nancy Maller, who helped organise a vigil for Muaza outside the Home Office last week, on Sunday described the government’s actions as “disgusting”.
“It is clear to anyone with an ounce of humanity that after nearly 100 days of a hunger strike that Ifa Muazu is on death’s door and too unwell to be locked up in an immigration detention centre or forcibly deported to Nigeria. This is just one example of the inhumane asylum system that we have in this country, and shows how far this government is willing to go to score political points. It brings shame on this government and on this country.”