President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday said there is nothing he can do for anyone who dares the desert and Mediterranean without documents to prove that they are Nigerians.
He disclosed that the Federal Government was hoping to evacuate identified stranded Nigerians in Libya and other countries in order to bring them back to Nigeria and rehabilitate them.
The president said this while interacting with the Nigerian community in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on Tuesday night.
Buhari is in Abidjan, for the 5th European Union-African Union (EU-AU) Summit.
He promised that his government would do everything possible to make the country conducive to discourage youths from embarking on such journey and risking their lives.
He assured that by fixing the security as well as providing other critical infrastructures in Nigeria, it would also reduce the chances of people taking the risk and ending up in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to Buhari, “Whenever Nigerians are identified especially in Libya and so on, we hope to evacuate them back home and then rehabilitate them because the indoctrination is what is happening with the Boko Haram where girls will strap themselves mostly from the ages of 15 downwards and go to the market blow themselves up and anybody around in motor parks, mosques, churches and so on.
“I am telling you all these because I know that those of you who are making it here I’m sure send contributions home for feeding and for school fees and for healthcare.
“These are the basic things that the government should do and we are to make sure that the people who are challenging the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean they will be less of Nigerians going that way and getting perished.
“When it was announced that 26 Nigerians died but before they could proved that they were all Nigerians, they were buried. But the evidence I got from the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs now is that only three were identified as Nigerians.
“But I won’t be surprised if the majority of them were really Nigerians. And for people to cross the Sahara desert to go into shanty boats across the Mediterranean Sea, I think we will try and keep them at home.
“But for anyone who dared the desert and the Mediterranean without document to prove that he/she is a Nigerian, there is nothing we can do, absolutely nothing. “In the interview some of you saw, some of the Nigerians said they were being sold like goats for few dollars for years in Libya. Now after 43 years of Gaddafi where he recruited so many people from the Sahel including Nigeria and so on, all they learnt was how to shoot and kill.
“They didn’t learn to become electricians, plumbers or any other trade. So, when the Libyans stood against their leader those who are not their people, they chased them out. A lot of them came back home with their workers, some of them participated in Boko Haram and become part of Boko Haram.
“So, I’m telling you that our major problem as we have identified is still the security of the country. We have done much better everybody is saying it. And then we are talking very regularly with the Niger Delta and the leadership because they know they are holding the throat of the country economically.”