Dr Bandele Onimode. Picture: NEMA/Flickr

The Federal Government is to evacuate another set of Nigerians from Libya in February.

This was made known by the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Dr Bandele Onimode on Tuesday during a visit to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

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He said: “It is a well known fact that Nigerians do cross the desert to Europe through Niger Republic, Mali, and Sudan and in the process some are tired, stranded and trapped.” Those of these class of people who contact or are found out by the Nigerian missions in those countries are promptly taken care of. Repatriation process is currently on-going for those of them fit enough to travel.

He pointed out a new development in the migration behaviour of Nigerians. He said there is a new wave of migrants who are trying to get to Europe through Libya. The Federal Government, according to him, had already evacuated no fewer than 1,000 voluntary returnees from Libya between 2015 and 2016.

He explained that 175, 160, 172, 162 returnees were evacuated from Libya, in August, October, and December 2016 respectively with a demography that falls between the ages of 16 and 22 and sprinklings of infants accompanied by their mothers.

Onimode said that the agency was working with other sister agencies such as  DSS, Police, FAAN, and NAPTIP to sort out the cases of victims of trafficking. Whereas Nigerians on the verge of being arrested in those countries are identified and brought back home.


In her response, Dabiri-Erewa called on Nigerians, especially parents,  to warn their children and wards against embarking on illegal migration through Libya and the desert to the UK. This is because of the dangers involved while crossing the desert and also the rampant cases of black migrants being dumped in te sea.

In her opinion, the dangers outweigh the reward.