Mediterranean Tragedy: Buhari sets up ministerial committee to investigate death of 26 Nigerian girls

Funeral of 26 female Nigerian migrants holds in Naples Italy

The federal government has set up a ministerial committee to examine the circumstances surrounding the death of 26 teenage Nigerian migrant girls found dead in the Mediterranean early November.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the girls were found on a Spanish ship and eventually buried in Italy by authorities there on Friday after an autopsy. The autopsy found that the victims died of drowning.

According to the autopsy carried out in Salerno in southern Italy, 25 of the females died of asphyxiation in the water, when the inflatable dinghy they were travelling on sank.

Reports further revealed that one female suffered a wound to her liver, two of the dead were pregnant and the autopsies found no recent trace of physical or sexual violence.

The bodies of the victims were found on Spanish military ship and brought to Italy on November 3 after two separate rescue operations. In both cases, dozens of other migrants, mostly men, were also rescued after they tried to cross to Europe from Libya.

According to a statement from the presidency, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has kept it sights on the issue and had briefed the Presidency on a regular basis since the time the tragic incident came to limelight.”

The statement said the government committee is “expected to also examine the reports of incidents of the sale of Nigerian citizens through slavery and report to the Federal Executive Council within week.”

The committee has as members the ministers of Women Affairs, Youths, Foreign Affairs; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora. The committee is chaired by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the federation.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, told reporters that he was aware of the setting up of the committee.

Nigerians, have, however, continued to criticise the government’s response to the tragedy on Twitter.

Many Nigerians questioned if the federal government sent a representative to the burial. The presidency’s statement was silent on that question..

See the reactions by some Nigerians below.


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  • Intrepid

    @ Ize Ndomi, the Edo street urchin, where are you?

  • Factual Bob

    If given an alternative,why should any sane person consider being a Nigerian,just why?

  • Konkolo

    Which committee? The one that will be paid handsomely for warming up chairs and table in the guise of deliberating on the death of the poor innocent Nigerian girls? We are known for always setting up all manners of ill advised committees after avoidable disaster. Where were our so called border control personnel when those poor girls were been forcefully taken out of the country? Everything about Nigeria is a complete mess. A dysfunctional system of government and leaders. All what most of our leaders do best, is stealing our national wealth and impoverish the people. May the souls of the dead girls/unborn babies rest in peace. And may all our leaders that have brought the country to this untold hardship through wanton corruption meet their untimely deaths. When they all die, may vultures feast on their corpses.

    • Tony Ani

      Knock it off Buhari! Please stop wasting our resources on this pointless investigation, just to enrich your party members that will be on the panel. We have career officers in that country to do that. The postmortem has confirmed that the ladies died from drowning, and it is obvious that they went on the dangerous voyage to escape the economic hardship in Nigeria.

      • Konkolo

        Tony, most times, I wonder where we get our leaders from? They are so brainless in executing simple project but very smart in padding figures to suit their stealing habits.

        • Tony Ani

          Correct Bro.

  • Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan

    How can a useless government that has not been able to identify (by name, state of origin, accomplices etc) any of the hundreds of suicide bombers (including those arrested alive) be able to identify economic emigrants running away from Buhari’s brutalism and terrorism? I understand most of the 26 ladies were from the Eastern Biaffran region and they had to leave eastern Nigeria after Mohammed Buhari sent Nigeria Army on operation Python dance to the East,

    …and where is Abike D.Erewa – the so called special adviser on diaspora or whatever? All she knows is to fly to Brazil, US and Europe to be counting Nigerians in jail. Why did she not go to Italy to identify these Nigerian citizens? Yeye. Nonsense political appointees. Judgement day is coming for all of you.

  • Lanre

    It has been stated that a majority of the migrants who die in the Mediterranean attempting to cross into Europe are Nigerians. This report seems to confirm it. May the souls of the girls rest in peace.

    • Tonto

      No! Their souls will not rest but torment the thieving and corrupt Nigerian so called leadership whose unprecedented corruption escapades has forced Nigerians to embark on desperate journeys to escape economic hardship at home. It is unbelievable that a country where the Senators are the highest paid in the world…and a country where the so called President can park presidential Jet in a London Airport for over 100 days (bills accumulated), is the same country where the youth are neglected this much. Shame on Buhari and the Nigerian govt. Let the souls of this young ones cry out and pass death sentence on all who have caused this economic hardship and continue to lie to Nigerians that all is well

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Those young Nigerian males and females, abandoning their children, their homes and aged-parents trooping to Libya, with the intention of getting smuggled through Mediterranean-sea, to European-Union, especially, Italy Thousands of innocent dreamers from other African-countries and middle-Eastern countries have attempted to cross-over through Mediterranean-sea in order to get to Italy.Many of them have died inside rickety-boats and floating-rubber artificial boats trying to cross -over to European-Union, but were involved in wrecked-floating rubber-boats and drown and died that their remains were never found to be rescued on the Mediterranean-sea.Federal Government, especaily minister of information must run a national publication warning Nigerians, especially, from the Edo State,Delta State and South-East regions to be very careful from travelling to Libya, with the intention of crossing to Italy as many of those Nigerians, were sold in Libya, as slaves as each Nigerian, was sold for S300 dollars as revealed on CNN.
    Fake-@Dr Pat Mumuwole Awosan: You that impersonates Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan, in this forum in the precious name of Jesus Christ, you are ruined and cursed permanently for the rest of your life,amen.Woe unto you forever and may thunder blow you in pieces. and may your days be dark,amen.

  • MilitaryPolice01 [Joint Chief]

    Obiageli Ezekwesili

  • Bigtin

    Haba ….must we set up committees for everything, nonsense! PMB abeg direct the MoFA & NIA to investigate and submit their report/findings in 7days .

  • truth is bitter

    Dear Buhari,
    Dont be a mumu. You do not need to set up any committee. Just redirect the N2.5b you budgeted for cars in 2018 for you and your useless VP to the building and construction of a Soap factory or tailoring factory where young Nigerian girls and boys can be employed to mass produce T-shirts and export, so they can earn a decent living and have no need to emigrate to Europe. This is common sense. God will punish all of you who have made life very difficult for Nigerians and who send the military to harrass and frustrate people on the streets forcing them to take desperate actions to leave Nigeria by all means necessary. May the hottest parts of hell be reserved for all politicians who budget billions for their Kitchen expenses but nothing for the welfare of the common man.

  • forestgee

    Some people commit suicide here others run to die in the Mediterranean sea! Nearly 3 years in power they are still blaming PDP instead of finding solutions to the problems of the economy and country. SAD

  • ‘desina

    This is one of those incidentds that l have been waiting for to unleash the beast in me, and this is my responce. May the wheel of judgement fall without mercy on each and every individual who has in any way contributed to the menace that has been the lot of Nigeria and NIgerians.

    May the souls of the departed rest in peace! Amen

  • Angry Niaja

    Another avenue to pocket funds, HOW MANY INVESTIGATIONS has Nigeria every carried out that the report ever saw the light of Day, how many reports are we waiting on the outcome. Grass cutter, THE MILLIONS discovered in Ikoyi, but to name a few, this are within the Nigerian soil. now you want to investigate this. i beg leave Mather for Mathias, the Oyibo, will investigate and come up with an answer and if anyone is found culpable, they will surely be punished, not this rubbish that goes on in Nigeria, i forgot what about the budget padding issue =, yeye people