ISIS terrorists may be among Nigerian returnees from Libya - NEMA DG, Maihaja

ISIS terrorists may be among Nigerian returnees from Libya - NEMA DG, Maihaja

ISIS terrorists may be among Nigerian returnees from Libya - NEMA DG, Maihaja

Babandede, who further distinguished between returnees who were trafficked and those smuggled, however stressed that not all Nigerians in Libya are being held or sold into slavery as been reported, adding that a sizeable number of Nigerians are living and doing legitimate businesses in that country.

Also speaking, Geoffrey Onyeama, Foreign Affairs Minister, said that there were stories of the exploitation and suffering of the stranded Nigerians which compelled the Federal Government to act decisively.

The government delegation had on January 5 left Nigeria on a fact finding mission to secure the release of Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya.

The returnees will be transferred to a reception center in the Rivers State capital for profiling, before they are transported to thier various states.

He said the programme is an ongoing process that will continue till all the stranded Nigerians return home.

He said that the reception centre was organised in such a way that the Ministry of Health provided facilities to look after those with health-related problems.

On arrival they were screened by a medical team from the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.

Mr. Maihaja said the delegation had 21 days to complete its operation.

President Muhammadu Buhari, had in the wake of the fate suffered by Nigerians resident in the North African country, directed the Onyeamaled delegation to ensure the safe return of the affected Nigerians.

Onyeama said the Nigerian mission in Libya was coordinating the identification of the Nigerian migrants with the support of International Organisation for Migration.

According to him, they are being joined by a technical team comprising representatives from NEMA, Immigration and other relevant Nigerian government agencies.

Addressing the returnees in Port Harcourt, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Onyeama said: " On behalf of the President, I welcome you back to your country.

"There are different centres of power in that country".

"Some of the difficulties with getting precise numbers is that some are within the control of the central government in camps, some are clearly outside the camps, some are also in less accessible areas where there might not be full central government control and authority", declared Onyema.

He noted that there were complaints about how some migrants in detention camps were being exploited by government officials for economic gains.

The UN's International Organization for Migration said 171,635 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during 2017, with almost 70 percent arriving in Italy.

"We had good understanding with Libyan Government and we are happy to bring back these Nigerians home".

"They cooperated with us because of respect for Mr President; there were people who were making money from these children and did not want them to return home".

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