President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that all Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya and elsewhere will be brought home.
Buhari says they will be rehabilitated, while steps will be taken to reduce the number of Nigerians migrating illegally to Europe through the Sahara Desert, Libya and Mediterranean sea.
Buhari, who gave this indication while addressing Nigerian community in Ivory Coast, on the sidelines of the European Union/Africa Union Summit in Abidjan, said he is appalled by what he had seen from the footage showing migrants being sold at slave auctions in Libya.
Buhari said they were being treated like goats, and vowed to do everything possible to prevent more Nigerians from making the perilous journey to Europe.
“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.
About 240 Nigerians were voluntarily flown home in a joint operation by Libya and the UN migrant agency on Tuesday night.