The federal government has revealed that plans are underway by German authorities to repatriate 12,000 Nigerians who are seeking asylum in the country.
The senior special assistant to President Buhari on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who made this known said that the German Embassy in Nigeria had intimated her office on plans to repatriate at least 12,000 Nigerian asylum seekers from the country.
Mrs Erewa who was represented by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Abdul-Rahman Balogun, disclosed this during the public presentation of two books ‘From Libya with Tears’ and ‘Practical News and Feature Writing’ in Lagos.
The books were written by Mr. Dele Bodunde, who retired as a Managing Editor/Director in NAN on Tuesday at the attainment of 60 years.
Mrs Erewa also noted that about 128 Nigerians were among the over 576 West African migrants to Europe that recently died in the Mediterranean sea.
Statistics from the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) reveal that 128 migrants, including Nigerians and other West Africans, died while crossing Mediterranean Sea to Europe between March 6 and 26, 2017.
While commiserating with the parents and families of victims of the boat mishap, and praying to God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss, Abike Dabiri-Erewa described their deaths as “unfortunate, tragic and preventable.”
She expressed sorrow over promising young Nigerians who embark on such dangerous journeys, in search of greener pastures and ended up faced rather with hopelessness, torture, despair and sometimes death, as in this case. Hear her:
“Just some days ago, 128 Nigerians died in the Mediterranean sea out of 576. Most of them were from West African countries and they were on their way to Europe.
“It is tragic and lamentable! It is just not worth it ultimately. There has to be sustained awareness campaigns on the dangers inherent in such journeys.
“Migration policies are getting tougher all over. In Germany alone, there are about 12,000 Nigerians seeking asylum and they will not be granted. They are likely to be deported.”
The presidential aide pointed out that it is better to remain in Nigeria and keep struggling, instead of making desperate journeys that could take one’s life.
Mrs Erewa also disclosed that some Nigerians had been trapped in Libya and were subjected to various inhuman treatments but for the intervention of the Federal Government which had ensured the return of many.
In a related development, the Italian government deported no less than 40 Nigerians back into the country over immigration and criminal offenses.
The deportees comprising of males and females arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Tuesday night at about 8:25pm aboard an Air Meridiana aircraft with registration number E1-FNU.
According to Sahara Reporters, many of the deportees entered Italy illegally while others entered the country with visiting visas but stayed past their expiration dates.
A source close to the Department of State Security attached to the Lagos airport disclosed that some of the deportees also committed criminal offenses in their host country and would immediately be handed over to the police on arrival.
This deportation is coming few days after the repatriation of 23 Nigerians for similar offences, from the United Kingdom.