26 dead Nigerian women found in Spanish warship

Migrants at sea
Migrant boat used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: CBC]

Italian prosecutors have commenced investigations into the deaths of 26 Nigerian women whose bodies were recovered at sea, BBC reported on Monday.

The victims, who are mostly teenagers, aged 14-18, are believed to have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean.

Following several rescues, their bodies were discovered in a Spanish warship, Cantabria, carrying 375 migrants and the dead women; 23 of whom women had been on a rubber boat with 64 other people.

Italian media reported that the women’s bodies were being kept in a refrigerated section of the warship. Most of the 375 survivors brought to Salerno were sub-Saharan Africans from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan.

Among the 375 survivors were 90 women, eight of them pregnant, 52 children and some Libyan men and women on board.

People-smuggling gangs charge each migrant about $6,000 (£4,578) to get to Italy, $4,000 of which is for the trans-Saharan journey to Libya and many migrants have reported violence, including torture and sexual abuse, by the gangs.

Five migrants are being questioned in the southern port of Salerno.

Thousands of Nigerians travel through the desert to Libya from where they try to cross the Mediterranean to Italy seeking better life.

Hundreds of such Nigerians, who could not make the crossing, end up getting trapped in Libya with many of them eventually returning to Nigeria with the help of the International Organisation for Migration.


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  • MilitaryPolice01 [Joint Chief]

    This is abominable, is anything being done from the Nigerian side or is it going to be left to the Italians ? Where is Geoffrey Onyeama ?

    • Julius

      Where is our entire government ? This is heinous .

      • MilitaryPolice01 [Joint Chief]

        Nothing still as of now, somebody should tap Abike Dabiri, she seems more of a Foreign Minister than the very slow and dull Onyeama

        • Julius

          Well she speaks out but it seems that nobody is backing her in the Admin/government. She spoke out about South Africa but, nothing happens. I don’t get it. I really don’t know what Mr. Onyeama is doing. Too bad.

  • Ekoile

    Oh no! I can’t even get past the first paragraph, I’m angry, sad, conflicted with all kinds of emotion. This is a trickle down effect of evil leadership upon a country

    • FineBoy

      Family values not leadership

  • manager

    This is one of the reason why nigeria needs Referendum

    • Julius

      Really ? So this heinous act is because of absence of referendum ? We are killing each other in the church during service as it is now from those demanding referendum, so what would a referendum do about that ? Be serious and stop sounding so dumb !

  • marc umeh

    Why 14-18 year old girl no dey school ? E dey find money go europe.

    • grand maze

      Is education free in Nigeria?

      • FineBoy

        $6,000.00 could could pay tuition to PHD in UNIBEN

    • Chief N.A Okosisi

      Na all those Edo girls. Most of them are persuaded by their parents to travel to italy to go do prostitution. They know what they’re going into and survival is by luck. Just tell me how could 14-18 yrs old afford $6,000. These are girls who are supposed to still be in secondary sch. It’s really sad those precious promising lives were cut short due to our govt nonchalant attitude towards educating the populace about the dangers of human trafficking. We have a govt run media outlets where it will cost the govt little or nothing to run campaigns against this epidemic that is eating away our youths. We all know how they run campaigns for elections on our media 24/7 for many months till they become almost a national anthem in our minds. The deaths of these girls is a result of lack of informing the general populace of the dangers of human trafficking. Just so sad.

      • marc umeh

        Maybe the churches should get invoved. They can pressure the govt to allow social service ads at a discount rate. I will happily contribute.

  • Rev

    Just look at this???Under normal circumstances, this kind of news will be a scandal for any government. But under Buhari, just like he brought hopelessness to Nigerians in 1983, suicides and hopelessness have become normal.

    • FineBoy

      Why should it be scandal for govt.
      They paid their fare.

      Over N2 million isn’t small.

      Stop your anti PMB crusade.

      Train a Child the way he should go, when he grows, he won’t depart from it

      • Rev

        You should be very ashamed of your self for lacking analytical decorum…palpably caused by the obtuse conflagration of your medulla, which triggers a mediocre response to related matters…not perpendicular to reasoning.

        • FineBoy

          Ashame that you gave your daughter $6,000.00 to go die in the sea and blame govt?

          Guess u need a visit to Aro

          • Rev

            I shall be praying for for reason to prevail in your conscience…which might soon wax morbid if not tranquilized.

    • Shahokaya

      So sending young girls todo Ashawo in Italy is the fault of Buhari? May be you need to ask your elders at home when your sisters began to sale their bodies in Europe and Asia.

      • Rev

        Do you realize that if the economy was in good working condition, and before you start blaming Goodluck, take full responsibility for Buhari’s totally bad stewardship of the economy, half of those casualties will not be victims in this sad tragedy? Anyone supporting This dullard at this point certainly needs Brain tranquilizers.

  • thusspokez

    People-smuggling gangs charge each migrant about $6,000 (拢4,578) to get to Italy, $4,000 of which is for the trans-Saharan journey to Libya and many migrants have reported violence, including torture and sexual abuse, by the gangs.

    I feel some sadness only for the children, and blame the adults and parents who put them up to the suicidal journeys. The parents should be found and prosecuted.

    Even if the migrants got to Europe, many wouldn’t be able to find work, let alone earn $6, 000 in a year. If their parents can afford $6,000 for the journey, why not use the money to start a small business?

    The Nigerian government needs to put out public information on radio and TV to dissuade Nigerians from undertaking such dangerous journeys, and also warn them of the hostile climate awaiting them in some European countries who themselves are struggling with high unemployment rate.

    • FirecloudOFGOD

      “The Nigerian government needs to put out public information on radio and TV to dissuade Nigerians from undertaking such dangerous journeys,”

      Thanks @thusspokez. You have made a very vital and practical suggestion. What we see is publications of who and what State has which post and how long! It is Never about what is good for the common man. I agree; Nigeria should launch a vigorous publicity/advertisement effort to alert and educate those who become victims; get lured into undertaking horrific journeys through these route, but subsequently become the dregs of the country they move into.

      Their lives becoming worse than that of a slave. With the amount being spent on these journeys, they could use the money to train in a trade – sewing, trading, farming vegetables and they would easily do better than the sex slaves they turn them into in these countries.

      Nigeria’s Social and LABOR DEPARTMENT about the incredible dangers en route and that hat the better world they seek is harsh, really harsh out there!

  • Otile

    So Buhari is only good at looting money and covering up scandals. This is the chanji fake lawyer Kayode Soyemi, Dele Awogbeoba & Abubakar tundemash voted for and still support.

  • Elbash

    I felt sorry for those who think they cant make their lives better here until they go abroad to look for money by all means.

  • Lanre

    The other day, I asserted that the majority of migrants dying in the Mediterranean happen to be Nigerian. There has been no dispute or controverting statement. May the souls of these poor girls rest in peace. Amen.

  • Kelly

    $6,000 to travel to Europe? with that amount of money you can do a very good business in Nigeria and make it big within 3 years.

  • Sword of Damocles

    “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is

    that his justice cannot sleep forever.”

    – Thomas Jefferson

    All of this is the legacy of the Nigerian ruling elites who have run Nigeria into a ditch since 1960. God is indeed JUST……

    • FineBoy

      I disagree.

      Paying $6,000.00 to die means they weren’t poor.
      Greed took them to the grave.

      Godliness with contentment is great gain

      • Sword of Damocles

        u r entitled to your own opinion, the above is mine.

        • FineBoy

          That is y I disagreed

  • grand maze

    When these ones were born, there was shout of happiness and big hope in their future forgetting that Nigeria is created to destroy hopes, dream and end lives

  • LLLeon

    Over two million killed in the Biafra War; mostly women and children starved to death. The human trafficking in this story is just a continuation of death as a policy.

  • FineBoy

    $6,000.00 is over N2,000,000.00.
    This isn’t small money.

    These guys/girls would have used this and become super rich.

    Now they are super dead.


    Don’t blame government

    • Uzoma

      It’s a lot of money but, remember, they pay over there. not while still in Nigeria.

      • FineBoy

        Part of the pay is the death.

        • m

          You seems not knowing what you are saying. You are lazy fellow that is in support of visionless government like this one. Any hardworking citizen that wants make the difference in life will feel frustrated with these soldiers that ruled Nigeria and have now turned civilians. Nigeria is a mess and PMB is making things worse.

          • FineBoy

            Hardworking in prostitution or what?

            A hardworking person will not pay $6,000 to go do prostitution.

            That money is huge capital for many businesses.

            Keep you deception by blaming govt instead if your depraved family that think yahoo yahoo and prostitution is great work

  • Solomon Brown

    Organ harvesting might have been the motive here, I just can’t see why else the corpses were refridgerated, when it would have been a lot more convenient to toss the bodies into the sea after murdering them. It is sad that their lives had to end this way, it is my utmost desire that their families at least find closure. This is on you all Nigerian leaders past and present.

  • Arabakpura

    So, who killed them?

    • Akintunde Jegede

      na ur papa oponu oshi

      • Arabakpura

        Ike nne gi there!

  • Intrepid

    @ ize ndomi, any comment?

  • princegab

    Rip girls. The struggle continues, live goes on.

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    How low can a country and its citizens descend?
    Nigeria was the choice destination country for many British, middle class Indians, Filipino, Pakistani’s and East Europeans in the late 60’s and 70’s. Nigeria was doing well; as it was steadily industrializing, had reputable universities established with graduates hopeful of a job the instance they graduated.

    Suddenly in comes the uninvited ill-educated army officers, with half cooked economic policies such as “Indiginization decree” , took over power. Foreign industrialists civil servants were sent scampering out of the country. These military governments had poor sense in establishing industries, developing long term sound economic policies and building infrastructure for the future.

    Lately, extremely indolent, unpatriotic, dishonest, greedy and corrupt politicians entered into the fray and have not done any better. Nigeria, a once shining star with unimaginable potential to uplift not just Nigerians but Africa and the the black race is not just asking for hand-me-downs, but now sacrificing its citizens all over the world in the jungles of Brazil, the Seas of Europe as well as in the deserts of Arabia and Sahara.

    May their soul rest in Peace. When will Nigerians move away from seeking the golden fleece abroad but develop their abundant God given resources?

    • Quantumspirit666

      Nigeria began to crumble when AREMU OBASANJO took over govt. Operation Feed The Nation (OFN), started by MURITALA for the country was suddenly changed to Obasanjo Farms Nigeria (OFN) !!!! OBASANJO is the architect of Nigerias decline. Nigeria was rich when Obasanjo took over and when SHAGARI took over, he said he was left with “EMPTY TREASURY” Obasanjo is still walking around today,going from tv studio to newspaper offices,some even call him baba. Until this man goes,Nigeria is doomed.

      • FirecloudOFGOD

        Thanks. It is Interesting that you pointed out that one OFN (National) became OFN (Personal)!
        OBJ thinks he is the greatest thing to come out of Nigeria. He has never seen himself as part of our problem. Interestingly, OBJ and Buhari are one of the only past military heads of State to hold the same post as a civilian. Judging by the outcome of OBJ’s performance as a civilian, I am no longer holding my breathe for exemplary performance from Buhari!

        • thusspokez

          Judging by the outcome of OBJ’s performance as a civilian, I am no longer holding my breathe for exemplary performance from Buhari!

          True indeed. Without revisiting the last presidential campaign, my warning then was that it is much more difficult to successfully govern in a democracy — given the nature of democracy — than it is in a military dictatorship.

          In spite of of…Buhari, the military junta failed; how anyone expects him to be a better leader in democratic Nigeria let alone exemplary, boggles the mind.

          He further reduced his odds of succeeding when he decided to choose his appointees from a small pool of mainly northerns — not even the best but mediocre and town folks.

        • Quantumspirit666

          AREMU OBASANJO destroyed Nigeria. SHARIA LAW was introduced during Obasanjos presidency. Hence BOKO HARAM. Told BABAGNGIDA not to hand over to ABIOLA “Abiola is not the Messiah we need” Sent soldiers to FELAs house and killed his mother. The baboon is now collecting THREE pensions from the govt. In what advanced society can one find a former president going round acting like a sitting president. He destroys anything he cannot have. Why tear his PDP membership card in PUBLIC? He rode on their ticket to rule the country.The baboon should have been executed years ago.

  • Ben

    And one minister is busy telling us the economy has improved, food prices crashed.