Nigerian Govt urged to secure release of citizens detained in Libya

FILE PHOTO: Black African migrants sold off as slaves.

A Non-Governmental Organisation, Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN), has called on the Federal Government to demand for the list and secure the immediate release of Nigerians detained in Libya.

Mr Femi Awoniyi, Co-Project Director, MEPN, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja commended the Federal Government for its efforts in the repatriation of some Nigerians detained in Libya.

Awoniyi said that, however, the recent release by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that 10,000 Nigerians had been repatriated from Libya since April 2017 was worrisome.

“MEPN will like to use this opportunity to note that thousands of Nigerians may still be stranded in Libya and other transit countries.

“The case of a group of returnees, who were held captive inside a government-run detention centre indicates that many could still be in forcible custody in Libya.

“Many Nigerians could still be detained in camps run by smuggling gangs and militias,” the statement quoted Awoniyi as saying.

He said that the return of 161 Nigerian migrants under the European Union/International Organisation for Migration (IOM) joint initiative on migrant protection and reintegration was a step in the right direction.

The director called on Nigerian youths and migrants to learn from the experience of the returnees and stop embarking on dangerous journeys to Europe without visa.

He urged young Nigerians to seek legitimate ways of migrating, adding that thousands had lost their lives in the past five years because of illegal migration.

Nigerian Govt urged to secure release of citizens detained in Libya