By News Agency
No fewer than 1,700 Nigerians are serving various jail terms in accessible prisons in Libya and many others are held in rebel’s areas.
The Charge D’ Affairs, Nigeria Mission to Libya, Mr. Alex Kefas, confirmed as he also reported that 165 stranded Nigerian irregular migrants were on Thursday evacuated from Libya by Nigeria.
Kefas said that there were still many other Nigerians held for various offences in various prisons in the area being controlled by the rebels which still remained inaccessible to the mission.
“Our major issue now, apart from bilateral issue with Libya, is the issue of migrant crisis; the Federal Government as at today evacuated 3,801 irregular migrants in the last few months.’’
He said that the 165 irregular migrants arrived at the Murtal Mohammed Airport in Lagos on Thursday .
“There are six of them that are dead and are in the mortuary as we cannot locate their families because many of them change names when they get there,” he said.
According to him, out of the 165 irregular migrants that arrived are 109 that appealed for rescue through a video few weeks ago.
“We have 109 that few weeks ago appealed to the president and religious leaders to come to their help through a video that went viral.
“We are happy that they are in this very group that arrived today (Thursday).
“The mission has been doing a lot to ensure the welfare of the migrants; some of them were taken to the hospitals for child delivery,” he said.
He said that the mission had been getting support from the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve funding to take care of challenges that it had been facing.
“The issue we are talking about is not that we are not doing anything; the European Union, International Organisation on Migration and UN have been doing their best.
“But one of the challenges is that some of the migrants have insisted that Europe is their destination and we cannot stop them according to international law.
“Some of them refused to be repatriated and nobody could be forced to come back home, it is not possible,” he said.
According to him, about 65 of those categories were rescued from the high seas recently and this is almost on weekly basis.
“Some are still there as we speak, even among those that sent the video recorded have refused to be repatriated, but we are still appealing to them to reconsider their steps,” he said.