The federal government has summoned Nigeria’s charge d’Affaires in Tripoli, Libya, Danaladi Fanchano, over the ongoing reports of slave trade of Nigerians in the country.
Geoffrey Onyema, foreign affairs minister
The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama on Wednesday, December 6, said Fachano is expected to brief the ministry on details of the plight of Nigerians in Libya.
Speaking at the end of the Federal Executive Council meeting, Onyeama said, Fachano will also brief the federal government on the number of Nigerians imprisoned in Libya and how many of them are willing to return home.
He said once the figures are established, a meeting would be scheduled with the National Agency for Prohibition in Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on their evacuation in collaboration with International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Onyeama also said the charge d’ affaires has also noted that not all Nigerians in Libya are willing to return.
He said: “On the issue of Libya, of course, it has been in the news in the last two weeks on trading in slaves; also, the imprisonment in various detention centres of Libya.
“What we have done is that first of all, we have got our Charge D’ Affairs in Tripoli to come to Abuja to give us the full details of what is actually going on there.
“How many Nigerians are in detention and are trying to come home? So, once we establish that and we are given all those facts, we are now meeting with various agencies like NEMA and NAPTIP to now arrange the evacuation process and this will be done in co-ordination with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and see if we can very quickly repatriate all our Nigerian nationals who are there who want to return home.
“The charge d’ affairs said a number of Nigerians (and not all of them) do not want to come home. Certainly, it has to be those who want to come back home,” Onyeama said.
It was earlier reported that 401 Nigerians returned from Libya between Tuesday and Wednesday, December 5 and 6.
The returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport with assistance and provision of logistics from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) also said that there were four medical cases among the returnees who arrived Nigeria in two different batches of 144 and 257.