The Federal Government has disclosed that 250 Nigerians will be repatriated from Libya on Tuesday (tomorrow), noting that 3,000 citizens had been brought back so far.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the returnees would arrive Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos by 7pm.
The Charge d’Affairs, Nigerian mission in Libya, Iliya Fachano said this while addressing members of the #Ourmumudondo coalition which staged a protest at the ministry on Monday in Abuja, demanding an end to slavery in the Arab nation.
Fachano explained that embassy officials visited the detention camps weekly where illegal migrants mostly from African countries were held.
He added that those identified as Nigerians were given emergency travel certificates to enable them to return to Nigeria on chartered aircraft financed by the International Organisation for Migration.
He said, “The IOM informs the mission once Nigerians are identified among the illegal migrants, we then visit the detention camps, register them and give them emergency travel certificate, then schedule a
date for their return.
“The mission repatriates immigrant Nigerians weekly, tomorrow being December 5, 2017, 250 Nigerian migrants will arrive Lagos by 7pm.”
The diplomat said the exercise is carried out regularly, adding that after immigrants are scheduled for a flight, their names contained in a manifest is sent to Nigeria.
He added, “They are not only Nigerians there, there are other nationalities like Ghanaian, Gambians; so the Nigerian embassy visits that place to identify its own people.
“So far we have registered about 2,000 Nigerians now, the 250 will return tomorrow because no plane has the capacity to take all the detained people at once. And all the detained people are not only Nigerians.”
The CDA said the moment the immigrants were brought back to the country, the National Emergency Management Agency would receive and ensure they are resettled.
“Migration is not an issue, it only becomes an issue if it is illegal. Our duty as government is to protect both Nigerians that run foul of the law and those here in the country; Government is responsible for everybody, we don’t say because you’re detained by this person we won’t bring you back,” Fachano stated.
Speaking earlier, the coalition demanded an emergency meeting of African Union to discuss the human trafficking issues in Libya which they insisted should not be left to the European Union to address.
A member, Ariyo Atoye, berated President Muhammadu Buhari for not doing enough to address the root cause of illegal migration which he traced to the economic situation in the country.
The protesters, led by musician and activist, Charlie Boy, sealed their mouths with duct tapes and chained their hands to depict the sufferings of many Nigerians and Africans in Libya.