Eze Okafur, a Nigerian man and a victim of Boko Haram who had been living in Iceland for the past 4 years, was deported by authorities and sent to Sweden in late May, Al-Jazeera reported Monday. Okwy says Boko Haram are after his life in Nigeria
Okafur fled Nigeria after being targeted by Boko Haram. In 2010, he and his younger brother, Okwy, were attacked after they refused to join the group. Okafur was stabbed in the head and face and his brother was killed.
Soon after the incident, Okafur left Nigeria and made a dangerous boat journey to Sweden, where he sought asylum in 2011. After being denied, he made his way to Iceland, where he again was denied asylum.
Working as a cook in a local restaurant, learning to speak Icelandic and building community for the past 4 years, Okafur was granted permission to stay in Iceland on humanitarian grounds in October, with the help of lawyer Katrin Theodorsdottir.
He applied for permission to stay in Iceland on humanitarian grounds, as his case slowly made its way through the system. The request was granted. After many legal bottlenecks, he was deported to Sweden in May, 2016.
Eze said Boko Haram is an ongoing threat in Nigeria and they have members and supporters at all levels of government and in the police. He added that members of Boko Haram once kidnapped his mother in a bid to force him to return to Nigeria.
After brutalising her – including an attack to her face that compromised her eyesight – the kidnappers demanded a ransom.
While Okafur is uncertain about his future, he knows that his return to Nigeria would be a death sentence.
“What I am facing in Nigeria is that this Islamic group is after my life. My life is in danger,” he told Al Jazeera.
He said he believes that when he lands at the airport in Nigeria he fears he will be apprehended by the police. “Boko Haram has a network. They have been looking for me since then.”
With a dream to return to Iceland, he is working to find a lawyer who could take his case in Sweden. Theodorsdottir has requested that he be granted permission to live in Iceland on humanitarian grounds, a request which is still pending.
He was handed papers by the Swedish immigration authorities, which gave him until June 1 to leave Sweden or be deported back to Nigeria.
Chei, the story put pepper in my eyes. Smh