*As FG opens emergency helpline numbers
The federal government has disclosed that about 2,778 registered Nigerian are currently in accessible detention camps and ready for repatriation while many more are trapped in other camps manned by the opposition government which are inaccessible.
This was disclosed by the Spokesperson, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tiwatope Adeleye, in a statement on the efforts of the Embassy of Nigeria in Tripoli in addressing the plight of Nigerian migrants trapped in Libya.
Adeleye added that about 3,000 Nigerian have already been repatriated back to the country while another batch of 250 will land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Tuesday.
He said, “As of today, the Embassy has a record of 2,778 registered Nigerians in accessible detention camps and they are ready for repatriation.
“The Embassy, in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), repatriates 250 Nigerian migrants by flight to Lagos weekly – each flight can accommodate only 250 passengers.
“Thus far, the Embassy, in collaboration with the IOM has repatriated about 3,000 Nigerians.
“From the 2,778 registered Nigerians who are still in detention camps, by Tuesday, another set of 250 Nigerian migrants will be arriving at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos at 7p.m. to be received by NEMA officials”.
He further said that the Nigerian Head of Mission in Libya has been summoned to Abuja, to provide first hand information on the situation, adding that federal government has been in negotiations with its embassy in Libya, to secure Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) for the migrants.
“The Ministry also indicated that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has invited the Charge d’Affaires (Head of Mission) in the Embassy, Mr. Iliya Danladi Fachano, to Abuja for consultations.
“The Ministry also wishes to inform the public that the Embassy has been visiting detention camps to identify Nigerians for registration and issue Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) to them”, Adeleye stated.
He maintained that the repatriation exercise is a continuous one and the Embassy routinely issues the requisite travel documents to the migrants.
He said, “The Embassy will continue to engage the legitimate government in Libya and other stakeholders in addressing the plight of Nigerian migrants in that country.”
The Ministry also discouraged intending Nigerian travelers to Libya, pointing out the dangers of such voyage.
On the report of the slave market in Libya, the African Union Chairman and Federal government have condemned such act if discovered to be true.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs plans to engage the United Nations, African Union, European Union and other stakeholders to ensure that the perpetrators of the slavery are brought to justice and that the phenomenon is brought to an end, as it violates the fundamental human rights of the victims and it is unacceptable to the civilized world.
The Foreign Ministry also made available the following emergency numbers and e-mail addresses to assist any Nigerian trapped in any part of Libya for assistance and possible repatriation: +218910144487, +218925099384 and +218917953365.
The contact email addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Myke Uzendu, Abuja