Why Emdee Tiamiyu is not sorry for his controversial comments on Nigerian students in the UK

Emdee Tiamiyu, a Nigerian Youtuber who gives academic and travel advice to Nigerians in the UK, has defended his controversial statements in a recent BBC interview.

In the interview, Tiamiyu claimed that most Nigerians who applied for university admission in the UK were not interested in getting new degrees, but in using the student visa as a way to escape from Nigeria and start a new life abroad.

He said, “The student route is more like an answered prayer. It is a big bracket that’s able to take a lot of people, the ordinary people”.

“We’re beginning to see that a lot of people just hide behind the studentship. So the student thing is not real, it’s not like they need the degrees,” he added.

His remarks sparked outrage among many Nigerians on social media, who accused him of betraying and sabotaging his fellow countrymen and women.

The backlash came amid the UK’s announcement of a ban on Nigerians and other immigrants from bringing their dependents to the country if granted study visas.

Tiamiyu responded to the criticism by hosting a Twitter Space on Tuesday, where he said he was not looking for popularity with the interview, but for impact.

He said, “I am grateful for being one of the leading voices. I may not be popular. I am not even looking for popularity as long as I have an impact. We have changed lives. God help us with information. Maybe we do a space for that.

“If you have not been on my page before and now you want to shine, are you serious? If you want to shine, ask BBC to interview you too. I mean every word that I say. I talk real, I am very very real. DJ Real is learning from me. I am very humane and personable.

He also had a video chat with a popular broadcaster, Ifedayo Olarinde aka Daddy Freeze, where he said he was trying to find a balance between being real and being diplomatic.

He said, “There is a future here and I know there is still more opportunities to do great things.

“I would have to find a balance between being real and being diplomatic because if you want to be real, you will offend people.”

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