The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has revealed that the German embassy in Nigeria has intimated her office of plans to repatriate at least 12,000 Nigerian asylum seekers from the European country.
Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday during the public presentation of two books ‘From Libya with Tears’ and ‘Practical News and Feature Writing’ – written by Dele Bodunde, who retired as a managing editor/director in NAN, after the attainment of 60 years, Dabiri-Erewa advised Nigerians against desperation to travel abroad despite the risks involved.
She also disclosed that at least 128 Nigerians were among the over 576 West African migrants who recently died in the Mediterranean sea while on their way to Europe.
Dabiri-Erewa, represented by her Special Assistant on Media, Abdul-Rahman Balogun, said most of the victims were heading to Italy en-route the Libyan coast, when the tragedy occurred.
“Just some days ago, 128 Nigerians died on the Mediterranean sea out of 576 migrants. Most of them were from West African countries and they were on their way to Europe,” she said.
“Now, this is an unfortunate incident and I think it is better to remain in Nigeria and keep struggling, instead of making desperate journeys that could take their lives.”
Dabiri-Erewa said some Nigerians had been trapped in Libya and were subjected to various inhuman treatments until the intervention of the federal government.
The presidential aide commended Bodunde for writing a book on the travails of Nigerians in Libya, saying the work could not have come at a better time.
Also speaking at the occasion, Olusegun Osoba, a former governor of Ogun state and a veteran journalist, said there was need for journalists to constantly update themselves with the requisite skills of the profession.
According to Osoba, the main problem to the development of the profession is a deficit in skills as he commended the author for writing a book that sought to address the problem and urged practicing and aspiring journalists to avail themselves of the books, for their professional and personal development.
In his speech, the Managing Director of NAN, Bayo Onanuga, described the retiring Director as an accomplished journalist, who had made a great impact at the agency.
NAN reports that Bodunde thanked the guests, as well as the staff and management of NAN for the opportunity to serve the nation as he promised to continue to contribute his quota to the journalism profession, even in retirement.