HONOURABLE Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora has described the deaths of 26 Nigerians who got drowned in Mediterranean sea as “most unfortunate and tragic’’.
No fewer than 26 Nigerians were reportedly got drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday. The Italian authorities have since commenced an investigation into the deaths of the victims, mostly teenagers, though hundreds of other migrants survived
In a statement made available to newsmen by his media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, she described the deaths of these young Nigerians, mostly women and girls, as avoidable and preventable.
“It is tragic and lamentable. It is just not worth it ultimately. There have to be sustained awareness campaigns on the dangers inherent in such journeys. Migration policies are getting tougher all over.”
Dabiri-Erewa said that President Muhammadu Buhari has been working with the International Organization of Migration (IOM), to bring back voluntary returnees, adding that “even if they survived, it is not usually greener out there’’.
She therefore appealed to the Italian authorities to ensure thorough investigations into the deaths and reiterated her appeals to Nigerians to desist from such journeys.
‘’Regrettably, such trips are usually paid for, sometimes as high as $4,500 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.
‘’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 anymore.’’