Nigeria lawmakers warn parents against Cyprus University

Abike Dabiri-Erewa

A 20-year-old Nigerian student was killed by a driver on July 13.

The Chairman of the House of Representative Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri- Erewa, on Thursday warned parents against sending their wards to study at the Cyprus International University, CIU, Nicosa, in North Cyprus.

Ms. Dabiri-Erewa gave the warning in a press statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES in Abuja.

The legislator accused the school’s authorities of nonchalance about the demise of Gabriel Soriwei, a former 20-year-old first year student of Electrical/Electronic/Engineering at the Cyprus International University.

Mr. Soriwei was knocked down by a driver on July 13, 2013.

He went into a coma and eventually died on September 7, 2013. Five days after his demise, the university authorities flew his remains back to Nigeria.

Nigerians, especially the deceased person’s family, have condemned the manner in which the school handled the situation.

Ms. Dabiri-Erewa, warned Nigerians to be wary of the authorities of school who she said are moving to lure Nigerian students.

“The House Committee on Diaspora has drawn the attention of Nigerians to a suspicious move by the authorities of Cyprus International University, Nicosa, North Cyprus to lure Nigerian students to their university,” Ms. Dabiri – Erewa said.

She accused the CIU of conniving with North Cyprus to facilitate the release of the driver and shield her identity from the family of the deceased.

The Director, International Office of CIU, Patrick Douse, on Tuesday apologised to the Soriwei family over the Institutions nonchalance.

He explained that the identity of the driver that knocked Gabriel down was being withheld by the police because investigations were still ongoing.

Ms. Dabiri – Erewa recounted the death of another Nigerian, a musician from Bayelsa State, Stanley Ateimo. He was allegedly murdered during a disagreement with a white student over a girl in Nicosa on August 12, 2013.

She said Nigerians should be wary of the school’s team which was headed to Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Uyo leaving out Benin and Bayelsa, home states of Messrs Soriwei and Ateimo.


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  • Bin Fodio

    If Nigerian leaders have fixed our Universities, why do our kids need to go to such countries? May parents of the deceased have the patience to bear the lose.

    • Eva Zofia Moritz

      Bin Fodio, are suggesting that the car accidents are not happening in Nigeria?
      This has nothing to with studying abroad. Nothing opens the horizons as studying abroad in the athmosphere of peace and understanding mongst students. However the accidents will happen sadly. If you are studying or not.

      • Paparaxxie

        The point fodio abi fido dido is making is that most people go overseas especially countries like Cyprus because of the dilapidated conditions of Nigerian universities. The best schools around the world are not found in Cyprus and there is no reason for Nigerians to study in Cyprus if government paid attention to the state of Nigerian universities. Your comment is a show of malunderstanding of the discourse and content of the news item and fodio’s response as a Nigerian qED

        • Eva Zofia Moritz

          The point of the matter is that car accidents happen to Harvard and Oxford students as much as everywhere else. And this has no correlation with the quality of education.

          • Papara xie

            You are clearly derailing this debate. The theme of this debate is not whether accidents happen or not or to whom they happen to but rather that the failure of Nigerian state has caused some unknown and unrecognized schools in Cyprus to treat Nigerians in appropriately without facing the music. You are clearly in oblivion of this. Any further argument will boomerang against you, the university you support and all you sick ass country and school. Gbam!!!

          • Eva Zofia Moritz

            The political situation of my country is a complex one, but the people here do not face random bombings and murders due to their religious background or tribal loyalty as it is in Nigeria. So please mind your language. Your swearing at us does not add any point to your false argument. To the contrary: it takes your arguments away.

            As I wrote before: CIU is known, recognized and accredited. So are our diplomas and many students who graduated from CIU are doing very well. We will continue to do our job the best we can.

        • Eva Zofia Moritz

          The point of the debate in this article says nothing about the need of reform of the universities in Nigeria, the point is to smear the CIU which I really don’t understand. And this is what I am standing against.

      • Paparaxxie

        And I think the emphasis is on ‘such countries’ yes Nigerians do not need to study is such countries FYI

        • Eva Zofia Moritz

          I believe this is an individual choice of a person and the parents, where to study. I know I would never miss it for a world to be educated in international university.

          • Paparaxxie

            It is pointless debating this with you with your conscious attempt to derail the points and facts of this debate. QED

          • Eva Zofia Moritz

            I am ‘derailing’ the debate? Interesting, could you please explain to me then what is the connection between the person that has been killed when crossing the highway (not on the pedestrian crossing mind you), the political situation in Norther Cyprus and the Cyprus International University? This is the debate. Why this smear campaign is taking place? Think about it.

      • Omo Akin

        Did you not read in the story that the lawmaker’s complaint is the nonchalant attitude of the school and shielding the driver? Accidents happen but what is done after the accident is the issue. If Nigerian universities are well maintained and not closed frequently closed down, there is actually no reason to go to a university that sends recruiters to foreign countries to look for students. It means the only qualification required is your money.

        • Eva Zofia Moritz

          I read it many times. But you stick to this article as if the facts described there were true or had any sense what so ever. And I am contesting it. School has nothing to do with shielding the driver! This is what I am trying to explain to you people. There is a legal action currently agains the driver. It has not been said if she is guilty or not, because the student was unlawfully crossing the carriageway in the first place! Have you read what I wrote in my first comment?

          Why this hostile attitude? Education in today’s world is not just lecturing from the part of the university. It is a service. Service that goes beyond the classroom.

          • Eva Zofia Moritz

            Please do me a favor before you be so judgmental, to check how much Nigerian students are being charged at the UK universities, not only at Oxford or LSE but also those little schools that don’t even make to the world rankings and there are a lot of them! Then check what prices we give and compare the serves. Our students can further develop themselves on FEEE OF CHARGE language courses, Programming software, you name it. Something that anywhere else they would be charged a lot of money.

            I further do not understand what that ‘nonchalant attitude’ of the CIU might have been? The fact that its staff put a lot of effort to help as much as they could?

  • Eva Zofia Moritz

    As an employee of the CIU I find this article unacceptable due to its
    bias and aggressive language. The University is not putting huge
    resources in order to ‘lure’ anybody but merely promotes its educational
    programs to Nigerian students and offering them high quality education
    for affordable prices. Many of our Nigerian students has benefited from
    our courses and found employment back in Nigeria, Germany and USA. Some
    other carried on with their higher education on Master level here in CIU
    as well as in Europe.

    It deeply saddens all of us here both
    staff and students that such unchecked and unverified rumor is being
    spread in Nigeria. I personally believe that this is a product of
    unprofessional approach to journalism, where things are being published
    without checking the facts on the ground.

    Let’s look at those facts:

    1. It
    is correct that late Gabriel Soriwei was the CIU student and he was
    involved in the car accident whilst crossing the DUAL CARRIAGEWAY
    (highway) outside of the campus boundaries where pedestrians are not
    allowed and crossing is unlawful. In that sense anybody who decides to
    take such action puts him or herself at risk.

    2. Hence, there
    is nothing, absolutely nothing ‘mysterious’ about Gabriel’s death. He
    tried to cross the dual carriageway, he thought he will make it, he
    didn’t. However sad and unfortunate this is.

    3. Despite legal
    proceedings still talking place, as the criminal case has been filled
    against the driver, the article announces that the driver was under the
    influence of alcohol which in reality was not conclusive from the
    initial test that has been made by the police as it normally happens in
    such circumstances.

    Both University and the police have to
    refrain from making any comments and personal judgements on the state,
    character and actions of the driver until the ongoing investigation is
    competed and the case finalized in the court of law.

    The
    University also does not have any legal powers to ‘release’ or detain
    anybody in the arrest as those are the actions reserved by law
    reinforces such as police. Stating otherwise, as it has been in the
    above article, is nothing short but ridiculous.

    4. From the
    earliest moment the University has been informed about the accident, our
    management has been actively involved with the family of the student.
    Both the CIU staff on the ground in Nigeria as well as the members of
    CIU in North Cyprus assisted the family members, particularly the father
    of Gabriel – Mr. Patrick Soriwei to obtain the visa enabling him to
    visit his son who at the time was in the critical condition and in coma
    at the State Hospital in North Cyprus.

    It is particularly sad
    to read that ‘there has not been a word of condolence to the family’ and
    that the family ‘has not been reached by authorities of CIU’ not only
    in the light of the above but especially because Mr. Patrick Soriwei has
    been the CIU’s guest throughout the period of his son’s hospitalization
    and has been hosted and provided with transport to and from the
    hospital as well as to the police station where he had a chance to talk
    to the police officers involved in the case.

    5. CIU went above
    and beyond in exercising the care of duty towards the Soriwei family by
    dealing with and funding the transport arrangements for the casket
    carrying the remains of their son back to Nigeria which has been done in
    accordance with rules and regulations dictated by the State Law,
    International Law and Turkish Airlines procedures.

    6. Cyprus
    International University is an educational institution. Not a political
    one. It has been recognized by University Associations around the world,
    has a number of international agreements with other educational
    institutions in many countries including but not limited to United
    Kingdom. It has also been accredited by the governments in Turkey,
    Nigeria and many other nations.

    The Geo-political and
    economical status of North Cyprus is a complicated one but it does not
    affect our independent University neither does it impact the high
    standards of the education we provide.

    7. Turkish Republic of
    Northern Cyprus has been blessed with one of the lowest crime rates
    around the world according to all Crime Index Ratings I personally came
    across. This however will not stop unfortunate accidents from happening.
    The University takes every effort to enhance the security of students
    on campus by providing 24 hour CCTV monitoring and Security Personnel
    constantly present on campus.
    The powers of the University are
    limited however to the proximity of campus and it is virtually
    impossible to control the behavior of young adults outside of it. But
    when the instances like those are taking place the University staff
    tries to act with all their accessible time and resources to find the
    remedy and prevent where possible similar accidents to take place.

    Finally I want to question not only the journalistic work that has
    been done (or rather not been done) in writing this article but also the
    reasoning and the motives behind spreading such unverified lies and
    misinformation that goes beyond the slander.

    I also demand for
    the article to be removed, amended and corrected with actual facts that
    took place in the earliest possible time.

  • Godson Ikiebey

    Why would the school authorities shield the driver of the car? I can’t comprehend that. This is an alarm and it is sad its coming from a supposed honourable member of the house of rep. The entire report did not articulate why Nigerians should no more school in Cyprus or whatsoever. Abike Dabiri I am extremely disappointed.

  • Kyle

    This happened in the Illegally controlled Turkish Area of Cyprus, which is not supposed to be there in the first place. This area was invaded by Turkey and is illegal, that is why they do not have international recognition. There is also no form of international law within the military zone of the Turkish controlled area of Cyprus.

    Cyprus , the entire island, is sovereign to the Republic of Cyprus.

    These universities are located in the Turkish Controlled Northern Cyprus. There is not international law within this area, the education you will receive there will most likely not be recognized in other countries.

    The North Cyprus, Turkish controlled area, is governed by the Military of Turkey.

  • Kyle

    So, realistically, legally speaking North Cyprus and these universities do not exist.