Sequel to the pleas by some trapped Nigerians in Libya via a viral video on July 8, the Federal Government of Nigeria, working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has identified their detention camps, and offered to bring back home.
But 24 of them have declined the government offer to be brought back, preferring instead to proceed to Europe. They were actually headed for Europe before getting trapped in Libya.
This cheery news of those willing to return was contained in a statement by Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Recall that a video went viral on July 8, 2018 showing some Nigerians trapped in Libya begging the Federal Government to urgently come to their rescue.
In the video, the stranded Nigerians who veiled their faces, said they were headed for Europe but were intercepted by the security agencies in Libya and locked up in terrible conditions.
They said they were been tortured to death daily, pleading for urgent evacuation by Government and prominent religious leaders in Nigeria.
“We are dying here. Come and rescue us. Europe is our final destination but we are trapped in Libya subjecting us to inhuman treatment,” they pleaded in the video.
Dabiri-Erewa said information from Nigeria’s Mission in Tripoli confirms that the Nigerian migrants have been traced to Osama detention Centre Zawiya , Libya where 116 of them have been processed online by the Nigeria Mission in Tripoli and IOM for repatriation back to Nigeria.
Regrettably, she said 24 of them have refused to come back insisting they must get to Europe.
“Let me reiterate that President Muhammadu Buhari will continue to ensure that all stranded migrants willing to return are brought back,” she assured.
She noted that most videos being spread through social media cannot be verified, those with concrete information are sent to relevant agencies to look into, as in this particular video
She recalled how President Muhammadu Buhari early this year directed immediate evacuation and repatriation of Nigerians from Libya back home and are still being brought back.
Besides, those that are brought back are being profiled and enrolled in various technical and vocational training centres with relevant agencies and NGOs.
She appealed once again to Nigerian youths to avail themselves the opportunities abound in the country as against risking their lives to search for a non existing and deadly greener pastures abroad.
So far, about 9,438 migrants have been repatriated by the government from Libya in collaboration with IOM.