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Buhari speaks on Libyan slave auction


Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the selling of black Africans into slavery in Libya, describing the situation as “appalling and unacceptable.”

In a footage aired on CNN about two weeks ago, migrants from sub-Saharan nations were seen being auctioned off for as low as $400 at an undisclosed location in the North African nation. The men were bought to work as farmhands.

Other migrants, mostly from Niger, Ghana, Nigeria and Mali, awaiting deportation to their countries at Libya’s Treeq Alsika Migrant Detention Centre also confessed to being sold as slaves.

“The situation in Libya, of people being sold into slavery, is appalling and unacceptable,” Buhari said on Twitter on Wednesday. “We will do everything to protect our citizens wherever they might be.”

The condition at the detention centre, some migrants said, was not edifying either, and President Buhari insisted his administration would not allow Nigerians in Libya to wallow in such pitiful condition.

“We have also started bringing back home all Nigerians stranded in Libya and elsewhere. We will ensure they all return home safely and are rehabilitated,” added Buhari.

Already, hundreds of Nigerians have been repatriated from the country in the last twelve months, with the latest batch consisting of 242 persons arriving the country on Tuesday night.

“242 returned this evening. More stranded in Libya will be brought back,” said Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who is a senior special assistant to the Nigerian president on foreign relations and diaspora.

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