Emdee Tiamiyu, a Nigerian influencer, has apologized after he drew the ire of his compatriots on social media for saying some Nigerians solely apply to study in the UK because they want to secure visas for themselves and their families.
Tiamiyu, who runs a YouTube channel, made that statement during an interview with the BBC. “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 said in the interview in question.
However, many Nigerians on social media have condemned Tiamiyu for his comments since the interview was aired, with some alleging he had stabbed his compatriots in the back. Succumbing to the kickback, the influencer took to his YouTube channel on Wednesday to render an apology.
“I am sorry for any inconvenience that this may have caused you,” Tiamiyu said, per BBC. Though the influencer also expressed remorse over the “pain” people felt over his comments, he said he also cast Nigerians in a positive light during the interview.
Tiamiyu said he agreed to the interview because he wanted to “highlight some of the challenges” Nigerians experience back home as well as in the UK, adding that he wouldn’t have done an interview if he believed the topic centered on putting “Nigeria to shame.”
The Nigerian influencer also said he was in limbo over how to move on from the backlash. The BBC‘s interview with Tiamiyu comes in the wake of the UK government announcing that it is going to prevent most international students from going to the UK with family members as they study in the country.
Take a look at some reactions to Tiamiyu’s comments and his apology below: