Slavery: Nigeria warns Libya of ‘zero tolerance’ for molestation of citizens

Pic.8. Cross section of evacuated Nigerians living in Libya arriving Port Harcourt International Airport on Sunday (7/1/18).0102/7/1/18/Chidi Ohalete/TA/NAN

The Nigerian government has warned its Libyan counterpart against molesting Nigerians in the north African country.

The government said it made clear to Libyan authorities that it has “zero tolerance” for such treatment.

The warning followed reports of enslavement and maltreatment of Nigerians stranded in Libya.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known on Monday as another batch of 491 Nigerians arrived Port Harcourt from Libya.

Mr. Onyeama reassured of Federal Government’s commitment to return all stranded Nigerians from Libya.

The minister said there were stories of exploitation and suffering by stranded Nigerians in Libya, which compelled Federal Government to act decisively.

“We made it clear to the Libyan Government that we want to see all Nigerians there. We insisted that we should see all of them, instead of hearing from them.

“We made it clear that they (Libyans) are signatories to international conventions and we expected them to have control of those who guard our children.

“They cooperated with us because of respect for Mr President; there were people who were making money from these children and did not want them to return home.

“We carried out rigorous outreach to ensure that we have everybody back.”

The minister noted that the programme is a continuous process that would return all stranded Nigerians from Libya.

The minister explained that “the Libyan Government got the message that as far as they are Nigerians, we have zero tolerance for molestation.”

The Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani, who led the Rivers state delegation, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making efforts in returning the stranded Nigerians.

He said “as a state government, we had no choice really, let me say that the Rivers State Governor made it clear to me that we should do everything possible to make sure that this exercise was handled smoothly.

“The Rivers State Government would do everything in its power to assist federal agencies handling this programme, because above everything else, we are all Nigerians and this programme is a clear indication that when we work together, we can achieve anything.

“What you are seeing here today clearly shows that our governor and indeed the President feel same about this issue.

“On behalf of the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, I will like to thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his team who worked tirelessly to make the return of our brothers and sisters successful.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all the returnees were profiled at designated booths at the airport.

NAN reports that the minister was accompanied by officials from the Nigerian Immigration Service, NEMA NAPTIP and military personnel. (NAN)


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  • FreeNigeria

    Warn the Libyan, or else what will happen? We can’t defeat rag tag Boko Haram in our backyard, we’re warning a sovereign country

    • Abiodun

      Please let us for once appreciate the efforts of the government. Have you ever considered the logistics behind locating Nigerians in that country and flying them back home?

      • FreeNigeria

        Using the word “Warning” is not the right word. What can Nigeria do to Libya. Arms from Libya are everywhere in northern Nigeria killing people all over Nigeria. What has Buhari government done about it?

        • Whalerolex

          Don’t worry he will do during his second coming. Watch out 2019

  • Konkolo

    Talking though and taking action a little too late. What reprimand for the Libyans over the deaths of so many young Nigerians in their land? We call ourselves giant of Africa when we ain’t shit. Some of our moronic leaders need to start being proactive, provide enabling environment for youth employment. We have become a laughing stock nation for too long. Wake up Nigeria/Nigerians.

  • AryLoyds

    Just look at what this useless Buhari and his fulani brothers have turned Nigeria into. A ZOO ! Nigerian youths running to Libya cause of the hardship !

    • joelaw

      Why can’t people understand that the trans-saharan emigration started way back in 2011, was Buhari president then. If you must have an axe to grind with the president take him up on facts. Unfortunately, some of the returnees would have ventured into the Libyan route to Europe regardless of the economy at home, some of them confessed to spending in excess of N500,000 to settle traffickers who promise heaven and earth to get them there, money they ought to have spent to start a business. Lets not politicize a sad event.

      • Whalerolex

        A responsible government will see to how its citizens got back home and not warning on the pages of newspaper. Its true Clueless Buhari was not in government when they embarked on the journey but as the current president, he should have done much better. If you think he did well, please state his achievements on this matter

      • AryLoyds

        May God destroy you and your family !

        • joelaw

          I know your type, I don’t get into gutter language. Thanks

          • AryLoyds

            Keep it up animal

  • omo56

    “Nigeria warns Libya of ‘zero tolerance’ for molestation of citizens”, surely this is a joke, a very sad joke from a country whose leader has been silence on killings of thousands of its citizens, thousands more displaced internally, fuel scarcity, joblessness, hopelessness (number one factor driving people out of the country) to name a few.

    Maybe Nigeria should take Libya to Organization of Islamic States (just kidding) for justice

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  • thusspokez

    “On behalf of the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, I will like to thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his team who worked tirelessly to make the return of our brothers and sisters successful.”

    Unlike the kidnapped Chibok girls, many of the Nigerian migrants are from the south. I recall how Oby Ezekwesili was insulted daily by Igbo posters on the VanguardNg website for campaigning for the release of the Chibok girls — Her only sin was that she is Igbos and therefore has no business helping northerners. Well the President is northern.