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Senate probes death of 26 Nigerians at Sea, may summon Foreign Affairs Minister



Senate probes death of 26 Nigerians at Sea, may summon Foreign Affairs Minister

‎Indications emerged on Thursday that the Senate may summon the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama‎, following the death of 26 Nigerian girls in the Mediterranean Sea, en route Italy.

In a motion, tagged “The Death of 26 young Nigerian Girls on route Italy”, and sponsored by Senator Rose Oko, the Senate mandated its committees on Diaspora, Foreign Affairs and Special Duties to investigate the unfortunate incident and report back to the Senate within four weeks

The deceased girls, said to be between the ages of 14 and 18, were found dead in the sea while attempting the journey of crossing from Libya to Europe. The bodies of the 26 female Nigerian migrants were found by Spanish warship Cantabria, which brought the bodies to Salerno, Italy, after they were purportedly sexually abused and murdered.

Italian prosecutors have began an investigation into the death of the teenage Nigerian girls. The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has also said it is monitoring developments and will take a position soon.

Read also: Court orders Police to pay Peace Corps N12.5m, unseal its office

During the investigation, the joint Senate committee is expected to invite the Minister, Onyeama and other agencies of the Federal Government.

In the motion, Oko told her colleagues that the mass exodus of young boys and girls illegally attempting to go to Europe especially to Italy and Spain has become worrisome.

She noted that the journeys are through the perilous and hazardous Sahara desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

“Most of these young persons have under gone several hazards ranging from the searing heat and biting cold of the Sahara desert, the marauding Tuareg bandits, assaults, abuse and rape; and the dangerous sea waves often on rickety rubber boats,” she said.

She further claimed in her motion that as at May, 2017 it was reported that about 10,000 Nigerians had perished along the Sahara desert, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea route.

She added: “On Monday, 6th November, 2017 international and national media reported the gruesome story of the dead bodies of Twenty Six (26) young Nigerian girls of ages 14 -18 discovered in a Spanish war ship ”CANTABRIA” carrying 375 migrants. Twenty three of them had been on a rubber boat with 64 others.

“Even more horrifying is the suspicion that they had been sexually abused and murdered. Italian prosecutors who have begun investigation into their death have arrested an Egyptian and a Libyan as suspects.

“This mass exodus of our children from the relative safety and security of home to the often cold hands of death have arisen and are increasing as a result of the economic hardships at home including the unemployment situation in Nigeria.

She called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency so as to come up with urgent ways to fix the problem.

“It is time to go beyond the mere feeling of horror to taking pro-active, urgent emergency measures to address the root causes of the exodus, including massive enlightenment on the dangers that it portends.”
by Ehisuan Odia…


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  1. seyi jelili

    November 9, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    The Senate should go into the sea to probe the sea that drowned the girls ,medicine after death,

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