Emdee Tiamiyu, a Nigerian YouTuber based in the United Kingdom, is facing widespread criticism on social media following his recent interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
In the interview, Tiamiyu made controversial statements, asserting that a significant number of Nigerians and other international students were not primarily seeking new qualifications when applying to study abroad, but rather aiming to start a new life in a foreign country.
According to him, many individuals who pursued education opportunities in the United Kingdom viewed it as an alternative pathway to escape from Nigeria, rather than a genuine pursuit of academic qualifications.
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.
Following the recent changes in immigration rules affecting Nigerian students studying in the United Kingdom, Emdee Tiamiyu, a Birmingham-based YouTuber, participated in an interview to discuss the matter.
Effective from January 2024, the new rule will no longer allow international students, including Nigerians, to bring their families as dependents unless certain conditions are met. This development aims to prevent potential misuse of the visa system by students switching to work routes before completing their studies.
Tiamiyu’s remarks in the interview stirred discontent among Nigerians, as they believed his statements had jeopardized the chances of those genuinely intending to pursue education in the UK. Critics accused him of being a clout chaser, seeking popularity rather than addressing the concerns and aspirations of Nigerian students.
Twitter user, Francis Ebuara, said, “Dear BBC, Nigerians have been made aware of a video showing your interview with one “Emdee Tiamiyu,” who claimed that Nigerians do not go to the UK because they need the degree. For the avoidance of doubt, your interviewee has spoken strictly for himself and not for Nigerians.”
Another user, Bizzle said, “What @EmdeeTiamiyu said in the interview was unhealthy!
He has really made bad history, and the internet will never forget it. Sometimes it is healthy to bridle your mouth than speaking in a happy state of mind. He was too happy to be interviewed and decided to blow the whistle.”
Another tweep, Daniel Regha, said, “Emdee Tiamiyu is a mindless clown. Nigerians are already being stigmatised, our country has a negative image but instead of correcting the wrong perceptions he deliberately threw Nigerians under the bus for views and cheap clout. Ignorance is a disease. Hope karma visits him soon.”
Also in his reaction, Omolomo tweeted, “Emdee Tiamiyu finally japa and all he could do was to block the same channel he used for those coming.”
Wanjukay also tweeted, “This Emdee Tiamiyu just made foolery of himself on #BBC . Nigerian students have immensely contributed to UK economy through post-graduate studies. Stereotyping and jumping to conclusions like this just to gain YouTube views is destructively greedy.”
During an Instagram Live Session with Nigerian media personality Daddy Freeze, Tiamiyu defended himself by stating that his assertion was based on his commitment to being authentic and truthful.
He said, “I do know I would have to find the balance between being real and being diplomatic. If you want to be real, you will offend people. People don dey curse you since because you were mentioning why are they japaring [migrating abroad]…”
Daddy Freeze expressed that he did not take issue with the content of the YouTuber’s statement, but rather with the specific context in which it was delivered.
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