By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to ensure that all those stranded Nigerians in Libya and any other parts of the world are brought back into the country.
The President in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the assurance while addressing Nigerians in the Diaspora, in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire on Tuesday.
Buhari, also vowed to reduce the number of Nigerians heading for Europe illegally through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea by providing basic social amenities such as education, healthcare, and food security at home.
According to the statement, the President in an interactive session with members of the Nigerian Community in Cote D’ Ivoire, on the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit, said all necessary steps would be taken to stem the tide of illegal migration by Nigerians.
He, however, noted that it was very difficult to know the origin of the people who died, while attempting the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, because of lack of documentation.
“When it was announced that 26 Nigerians died recently in the Mediterranean, before they proved that they were all Nigerians they buried them.
“But the evidence I have from the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, (Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa) is that only three of them were identified as Nigerians. But I’ll not be surprised if the majority of them were Nigerians.
“For people to cross the Sahara desert and Mediterranean through shanty boats… we will try and keep them at home. But anybody who died in the desert and Mediterranean without documents; to prove that he is a Nigerian, there is absolutely nothing we can do,’’ he said.
Reacting to a recent footage on the sale of Africans in Libya, President Buhari said it was appalling that “some Nigerians (in the footage) were being sold like goats for few dollars in Libya.’’