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Buhari ‘appalled’ that Nigerians are being sold ‘like goats’ in Libya
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the alleged selling of Nigerian migrants in Libya, and promised that those still stranded in the country will be brought home and rehabilitated.
Buhari made the comments at a session with the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on the sidelines of the African Union-European Union Summit holding in the country.
He was reacting to recent video clips on the conventional and social media showing the sale of Africans in an auction in Libya.
“It is appalling that some Nigerians were being sold like goats for a few dollars in Libya,” Buhari said.
He ciriticised Libyans for not learning anything useful since the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
“After 43 years of Gadhafi, why are they recruiting so many people from the Sahel, including Nigerians?” Buhari asked.
“All they learned was how to shoot and kill. They didn’t learn to be electricians, plumbers or any other trade.”
Similarly, members of the Senate took turns to condemn the ugly situation.
Dino Melaye, Senator representing Kogi West, said it is disheartening that the government is yet to take a position on the issue despite the videos.
“The social media has been awash for over a month now with different video clips with very excruciating pictures of Nigerians being humiliated,” Melaye said.
“It is high time we resigned to citizen diplomacy as practised by the United State of America. Nigeria and Nigerians must take the life of every Nigerians not only seriously but to defend Nigerians anywhere in the world.
“I am particularly surprised Mr. President that these video footage have been on YouTube and social media for over one month and there’s not been one very drastic position by the federal government to condemn and take very proactive position on the lives of Nigerians outside the shores of this country.”
Contributing on the motion, Ali Wakili said government must address the root of the matter, which are poor governance, poverty and poor education standard in the country.
“We need to address the root causes of this issue of illegal migration. There is the issue of poverty that is bedevilling our people,” he said.
“There is the issue of poor governance, there is the issue of fact that we have corrupt leaders that have taken our wealth to the western countries and it is not helpful to them, nor to their descendants nor to us people.
“Our education needs to be looked into. We churn out graduates that are not employable, especially in the digital period in which we find ourselves.
“Our education system needs to be looked into so that we can have vocational training and others so that they can meet up with local challenges.”
On Tuesday, 242 Nigerians were repatriated from Libya courtesy of a collaboration between the the International Organization on Migration (IOM) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
In 2017 alone, about 3,480 young Nigerian migrants have been returned from Libya under this arrangement.