File photo: Nigerians returning from Libya
The Charge d’Affairs, Nigerian Mission in Libya, Iliya Fachano, said this while addressing members of the #Ourmumudondo coalition, who protested at the ministry on Monday in Abuja, demanding an end to slavery in the north African country.
Fachano explained that embassy officials visited the detention camps weekly where illegal migrants, mostly from African countries, were held.
He added that those identified as Nigerians were given emergency travel certificates to enable them to return to Nigeria on chartered aircraft financed by the International Organisation for Migration.
He said, “The IOM informs the mission once Nigerians are identified among the illegal migrants. We then visit the detention camps; register them and give them emergency travel certificates; then, schedule a date for their return.
“The mission repatriates immigrant Nigerians weekly. Tomorrow (today) being December 5, 2017, 250 Nigerian migrants will arrive in Lagos by 7pm.”
The diplomat explained that after the immigrants were scheduled for a flight, their names, as listed in the manifest, were sent to Nigeria.
He added, “They are not only Nigerians there; there are other nationalities like Ghanaians, Gambians; so the Nigerian embassy visits that place to identify its own people.
“So far, we have registered about 2,000 Nigerians now. The 250 will return tomorrow (Tuesday) because no plane has the capacity to take all the detainees at once; and all the detained people are not only Nigerians.”
The CDA said the moment the immigrants were brought back to the country, the National Emergency Management Agency would receive and ensure they were resettled.
The coalition demanded an emergency meeting of the African Union to discuss human trafficking in Libya which it insisted should not be left to the European Union to address.
A member of the coalition, Ariyo Atoye, berated President Muhammadu Buhari for not doing enough to address the root cause of illegal migration which he traced to the economic situation in the country.
The protesters, led by musician and activist, Charlie Boy, sealed their mouths with duct tapes and chained their hands to depict the sufferings of many Nigerians and Africans in Libya.