Central Association of Nigerians in the UK stands in solidarity with Gary Lineker

DIASPORA body the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk) has issued a statement expressing its solidarity with Match of the Day presenter and former England captain Gary Lineker on the vexed issue of migrants coming into Britain.


In a controversy which is tearing the English sports industry apart, the BBC suspended Mr Lineker from presenting Match of the Day after he issued a tweet condemning the government's asylum policy. In solidarity with Mr Lineker, other sports pundits like Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Alex Scott have all pilled out of tonight's programme.


Mr Lineker had condemned the British government's new Illegal Migration Bill, which aimed to scapegoat migrants coming into the country. He compared the rhetoric used by government ministers to that seen in Germany in the 1930s when the Nazis came to power.


Responding to the tweet, the BBC suspended Mr Lineker but unfortunately for the corporation, the move proved highly unpopular in the sporting world. Standing in solidarity with Mr Lineker, Canuk said it is deeply concerned about the volatile rhetoric deployed by the government on the issue of immigration and so-called "boat-people."


Canuk's statement read: "We fully agree with Mr Lineker that the language used by government ministers these days is reminiscent of that adopted by the Nazis in Germany in the 1930s. Being the representative organ of the largest Black community in the UK, Canuk wishes to make it crystal clear that it stands fully behind Mr Lineker and condemns in no uncertain terms the government's scapegoating of migrants.


"We hereby call on the government to rescind its plans to single out migrants for all of the UK's economic woes. Canuk is also calling on the government to reconsider scrapping its planned new Illegal Migration Bill as we see it as cruel. We believe it is migrants such as those from Nigeria that this bill will target and scapegoat.


"In addition, Canuk is also calling on the BBC to rescind its decision to suspend Mr Lineker over his comments on this matter. We are full of appreciation for the likes of Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Alex Scott and all those other sports presenters who have refused to appear on Match of the Day tonight in solidarity with Mr Lineker.


"Canuk will continue to oppose the new government policy under which asylum seekers can be arrested and detained in make-shift detention camps, without access to bail judicial review. They can be kept there until they are deported to either a third country like Rwanda or their own country, in a fundamental breach of their human rights."