The Nigerian government has warned its Libyan counterpart against molesting Nigerians in the North African country. Abuja 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.
Onyeama reassured of the 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 the 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 the respect for Mr. President; there were people who were making money from these children and did not want them to return home.
The minister explained that “the Libyan Government got the message that as far as they are Nigerians, we have zero tolerance for molestation.”
The Federal Government said yesterday it evacuated 1,030 stranded Nigerian migrants from Libya between Sunday and yesterday.
Minister Onyeama led a delegation on fact-finding mission to Libya to secure the release of Nigerian migrants stranded in that country.
On the delegation were: Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora and Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service.
Others were Julie Okah-Donli, Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Sadiya Umar-Faruq, Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees.