Osinbajo Summons NAPTIP, Others As FG Evacuates 7,250 migrants 

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has on Wednesday convened a meeting of relevant agencies in Abuja to evacuate the remaining Nigerians stranded in Libya while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Osinbajo summoned the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Refugee Commission to the State House, Abuja for a joint review of the situation with the aim of taking a firm position on the matter.

In his opening remark, the vice president recalled the comment of the president that all Nigerians who are stranded in the hostile country would be given an opportunity to return to the country.

He also recalled how the president reiterated the commitment of his administration to ensure that young Nigerian men and ladies are no longer exposed to the huge danger involved in wandering through the Sahara desert and eventual attempt to cross the sea.

Osinbajo who said it was necessary to sensitise young Nigerians on the danger involved in moves to cross the Mediterranean after being brainwashed by unscrupulous individuals, noted that it had become imperative for them to review the situation and take a position on how to halt the trend.

While recalling a CNN report that some of the victims are being sold in Libya, Osinbajo said it was necessary to brainstorm on the matter with a view to coming up with a well-prepared position on how to tackle the menace.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Refugees Commission, Sadia Umar Faruk, said no fewer than 7950 Nigerians had been repatriated to the country while 460 others are still being expected.

Faruk who said a committee had been constituted to come up with solution to the issue of immigration to Libya disclosed that another set of 250 migrants returned to the country yesterday.

She said, “A Committee has been set up consisting of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NAPTIP, the Refugee Commission and NEMA to come up with terms of reference as to how to go about solving the issue of Libyan migrants and also what happened in Italy.

“I think so far they have repatriated about 7000 and daily, they are coming in.  As I speak to you now, a plane is arriving with about 250 migrants. So, we are expecting more on daily basis. I think I was speaking with the Director General of NEMA and he said so far, about 4600 are expected.”

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