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Nigeria mourns death of 26 citizens in Mediterranean sea

LAGOS, (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government on Tuesday described the death of 26 of its citizens in Mediterranean sea as most unfortunate and tragic.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora said in a statement reaching Xinhua that promising young Nigerians embarking on such dangerous journeys, in search of greener pastures, end up faced rather with hopelessness, torture, despair and sometimes death, as in this case.

She added that the deaths of these young Nigerians, mostly women and girls were avoidable and preventable, noting that it is tragic and lamentable.

“It is just not worth it ultimately,” she said.

According to her, there has to be sustained awareness campaigns on the dangers inherent in such journeys.

Migration policies are getting tougher all over, she added.

Dabiri-Erewa said President Muhammadu Buhari has been working with the International Organization of Migration, to bring back voluntary returnees, pointing out that it was not usually greener out there, even if survived.

While appealing to the Italian authorities to ensure thorough investigations into the deaths, the presidential aide, advised Nigerians to desist from such journeys.

“Regrettably, such trips are usually paid for, sometimes as high as 4,500 U.S. dollars as inhumane traffickers profit from the illicit business, luring the victims who ignorantly fall for the apparently fake lure of a better life out there,” she said.

Dabiri-Erewa added that the boats now being used are getting smaller and more dangerous, and those on the other side are not particularly willing to save them from drowning any more.

No fewer than 26 Nigerians were reportedly got drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday.

The Italian prosecutors had begun an investigation into the deaths of the victims, mostly teenagers, though hundreds of other migrants survived.


Nigeria to investigate death of 26 citizens in Mediterranean sea

ABUJA, (Xinhua) -- Nigeria will probe the recent death of 26 of its citizens in the Mediterranean sea while traveling to Italy, the Senate said Thursday.

In a resolution at a plenary in Abuja, the country’s Senate said an inter-agency committee of the foreign ministry, the Nigerian Immigration Service and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons will immediately work out a strategy to check the unfortunate development.

According to the Senate, Italian investigators had so far arrested two suspects, an Egyptian and a Libyan.

The Senate said it was necessary to investigate the deaths of the female citizens, noting, as of last May, about 10,000 Nigerians had reportedly perished along the Sahara Desert-Libya-Mediterranean Sea route.

The government confirmed Tuesday that the 26 Nigerians, mostly teenagers, got drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday.

Hundreds of other migrants survived the incident.



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