‘128 Nigerian migrants died in Mediterranean Sea’
No fewer than 128 Nigerians were among the over 576 West African migrants to Europe that recently died in the Mediterranean Sea. The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, disclosed this yesterday at the public presentation of two books, From Libya with Tears and Practical News and Feature Writing in Lagos.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Dabiri-Erewa, represented by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Balogun, said most of the victims were heading to Italy en-route the Libyan coast when the tragedy occurred.
She described the incident as unfortunate, saying the story was one too many and that it highlighted the desperation by some Nigerians to travel to Europe at all costs despite the high risk.
Dabiri-Erewa said some Nigerians had been trapped in Libya and were subjected to various inhuman treatments and that only the intervention of the Federal Government had ensured the return of many.
She said that the German Embassy in Nigeria had intimated her office on plans to repatriate no fewer than 12,000 Nigerian asylum seekers from the European country. Also speaking at the occasion, a former governor of Ogun State and a veteran journalist, Chief Olusegun Osoba, said there was need for journalists to constantly update themselves with the requisite skills of the profession.
According to him, the main problem to the development of the profession is a deficit in skills. Managing Director of NAN, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, described the retiring director as an accomplished journalist, who had made a great impact at the agency.
Onanuga, represented by Mrs. Kate Popoola, Head of NAN, Lagos Operations, said the author had a penchant for imparting knowledge. The book reviewer, Mr. Ade Obisesan, said the book reflected the writer’s hatred for anything that dehumanises the female child.