President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday sent a strong warning to Nigerians who defy all odds to illegally migrate to Europe in search of greener pasture.
He said that his government is strongly opposed to such venture and that those who embark on such uncertain trips do so at their own risk.
He stated this when German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said while addressing a joint press conference he had with the visiting German Chancellor, “Firstly, I am against those my countrymen and women that illegally travel to Europe.
“I believe you know the ECOWAS protocol encourages free movement of persons, goods and services. But for those going to Europe, we are not, as an administration, agreeing with those who continue to defy the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean because they feel there are greener pastures there, whether they are prepared for it or not.
“We do not support anything illegal and indiscipline. You must recall that about six weeks ago, we repatriated about 3,000 Nigerians that were stuck in Libya on their way to Europe.
“You must have read in the newspapers and watch on the television the number of Nigerians lost in the Mediterranean.
“We have made it very clear that we do not support anything illegal and anybody who feels this country does not offer him what he should be offered as a citizen, and decides to defy the desert and the Mediterranean, is doing it at his own risk.
“But if he is stuck somewhere in Libya between his final destination and Nigeria, we will rescue him and bring him back home and send him back to his local government.”
Merkel had earlier in her remarks, reveal that she and Buhari discussed the 2019 general elections and why it is necessary to ensure the exercise is free and fair.
While she encouraged the government to continue on its effort to overcome Nigeria’s security challenge, Merkel commended Buhari’s administration on how it has been able to curtail the activities of the terrorist Boko Haram sect.
According to her, Nigeria is a very important country in Africa, the more important reason to maintain good and cordial relationship.
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