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Family fears deportation

Dear Editor:

Morufat Ogunkoya was born to a strict Muslim family in Nigeria. Her father was a supporter of a terrorist group affiliated with ISIS.

In 1994, she converted to Christianity, was threatened daily and had to leave her village. Subsequently, she married and has three children. Even though in a safer area, her father found them, burned her with a hot iron and also slashed her son. They moved again and her father issued a Fatwa, essentially requiring any Muslim to kill the family. Morufat’s husband then fled to California, but fearful of the anti-immigration policies of the United States administration, she didn’t follow him and doesn’t know where he is now living.

Two years ago, encouraged by our prime minister’s welcome to refugees, they came to Ontario, established a home in the Welland area and Morufat works as a maid and her son, Victor also works.

Victor also attends Notre Dame College, and won the Julia Turner Irish award for being an exemplary student in Grade 10. They worship at Holy Trinity Church and all are involved in faith-based activities with Rose City Kids in Welland, where Victor is a junior leader. He volunteers with the faith youth group and St. Kevin’s food bank, while Morufat volunteers with the soup kitchen and St.Vincent de Paul Society. 

Recently, the Ministry of Immigration ordered the family return to Nigeria to a mixed Muslim-Christian district. Morufat and her children are terrified of being sent back to Nigeria, where her father’s Fatwa is in effect, and fear they will be found by local Muslims and killed. They have appealed the ministry decision, but their appeal has been rejected and have been told to be ready to leave very soon.

I, and many thousands of Canadians, have signed petitions asking that the minister or prime minister overturn the ministry’s decision. I personally emailed Justin Trudeau and Ahmed Hussen, the recent minister and have contacted numerous candidates in the federal election, hoping they would add their voice to our appeal that the deportation order be rescinded. but to date nothing has changed.

Deportation of this family will likely lead to their likely execution. It must be overturned so our government proves its long-held position of welcoming refugees continues, maintaining our nation’s position as leader in the fight for individual human rights and freedom for all people.

Robert Mason