Presidency Reacts To Death Of 26 Nigerians In Mediterranean Sea
Mrs Abike Dabiri – Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora on Tuesday described the death of 26 Nigerians in Mediterranean sea as “most unfortunate and tragic’’.
Dabiri-Erewa in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said: “promising young Nigerians embarking on such dangerous journeys, in search of greener pastures, end up faced rather with hopelessness, torture, despair and sometimes death, as in this case.
“The deaths of these young Nigerians, mostly women and girls were avoidable and preventable.”
“It is tragic and lamentable. It is just not worth it ultimately.
“There has to be sustained awareness campaigns on the dangers inherent in such journeys. Migration policies are getting tougher all over,’’ she said.
Dabiri-Erewa said that President Muhammadu Buhari has been working with the International Organisation of Migration, to bring back voluntary returnees pointing out that it was not usually greener out there, even if survived.
While appealing to the Italian authorities to ensure thorough investigations into the deaths, the presidential aide, advised Nigerians to desist from such journeys.
“Regrettably, such trips are usually paid for, sometimes as high as 4,500 dollars as inhumane traffickers profit from the illicit business, luring the victims who ignorantly fall for the apparently fake lure of a better life out there.
“The boats now being used are getting smaller and more dangerous, and those on the other side are not particularly willing to save them from drowning any more.
“No fewer than 26 Nigerians were reportedly got drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday,” she said.
She noted that the Italian prosecutors had begun an investigation into the deaths of the victims, mostly teenagers, though hundreds of other migrants survived.