Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate yesterday ordered the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to commence immediate evacuation of Nigerians still holed up in Libya.
The decision of the Senate, followed the adoption of a motion tagged: “The Death of nine Nigerian migrants in Libya”. The motion was sponsored by Barau Jibrin.
The Senate lamented that migrants seeking to reach Europe remain prey to numerous militias vying for the control of the country’s oil wealth.
Jibrin said: “There are reports that following the first impact, some refugees and migrants were fired upon by guards as they tried to escape which resulted in the death of nine Nigerian citizens.
“The strike marks the second time that the Tajore detention center, which houses around 600 migrants, has been hit during the ongoing conflict.
“Smugglers try to get migrants who are mainly from Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries to Europe in crammed rubber boats. Libyan coast guards funded by the European Union intercept these dingy inflatable contraptions and return them to detention camps.
“With funding from the EU bloc, Libyans found a new venture in setting up deportation camps. Detention is not the answer to the protection of people on the move, alternative and sustainable solutions must be developed to protect this vulnerable people.”
After a brief debate, the Senate called on the United Nations to investigate and to find out the perpetrators of the act, with a view to bringing them to justice.
It also urged the Libyan Government to immediately release the refugees and migrants from detention centres for relocation to safe shelter.
Meanwhile, Senate chief whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, has called on Nigerians relocating to Europe through Libya to have a rethink and stay back in Nigeria. He said the impression that Europe is a land flowing with milk and honey was not true, but advised that the immigrants who are treated well, should stay back in Nigeria and develop the country.
Kalu said with serious commitment, Nigeria could be made conducive for the country’s teaming youth population.