Newspaper seller fears deportation

A NIGERIAN who became the first black newspaper seller in Cork said yesterday he feared for his safety after being told he is to be deported.

Aderibigbe Ebenezer said he fled Nigeria in November 2004 because he feared he would be killed. He claimed that both his father and brother had been poisoned by a rival tribal family.

Last Tuesday he received a letter from the Irish authorities telling him he was to be deported. Since then he has given up his job selling the Evening Echo.

Mr Ebenezer started selling the newspaper last February and became a popular sight on the Christy Ring Bridge in the city centre.

During the past few months he has undertaken part-time courses at UCC, but with the fear of deportation hanging over him he says he’s unable to concentrate on anything.

The 33-year-old, who comes from the south-western part of Nigeria, is a Christian in a country which is predominantly Muslim.

Mr Ebenezer said he didn’t want to leave Ireland, not just because of the fears he has for his own safety in Nigeria but because of the many friends he had made here.

“I had peace when I came to this country. I never got any hassle off anybody,” Mr Ebenezer said.

He said he had discussed the situation with his lawyer and was hoping that he could successfully fight the deportation order.

In the meantime he is sleeping at different addresses because he fears the authorities may start looking for him.

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