26 Nigerian ladies were found in Spanish warship in the Italian Coast City of Salemo as reported by BBC on Monday.
UNHCR spokesman, Marco Rotunno, said the 26 dead were involved in a shipwreck off Libya.
â€œItalian prosecutors are investigating the deaths of 26 Nigerian women â€“ most of them teenagers â€“ whose bodies were recovered at sea.
â€œThere are suspicions that they may have been sexually abused and murdered as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean. Five migrants are being questioned in the southern port of Salerno.â€
Reactions from concerned Nigerians on the rush of Nigerian youths to seek refuge abroad
Reacting to the development, some notable bodies and individual Nigerians blamed the Federal Government, its agencies and the harsh economic situation in the country for the tragedy.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, said the Federal and state governments must tackle the rising rate of unemployment in the country to curb the menace of human trafficking.
The CACOL Director, Debo Adeniran, said, â€œThe problems of illegal migration and trafficking are an accumulated issue. We have a high population of children and youths in this country and we are not planning for their future. Workplaces are actually winding up and no new jobs are springing up. This is why people want to leave and look for the proverbial â€˜greener pastures.â€™
â€œThe establishment of agencies such as NAPTIP (is commendable) but in recent times, some officials are complicit in some of these cases. Authorities need to pay more attention to these agencies, including the Nigeria Immigration Service. If our agencies do their work conscientiously, we will not have a lot of these problems.
â€œThe important step by the government is to create more jobs for our youths and school-leavers. We need to ensure that we create an enabling environment for those who want to establish their own jobs.â€
Activist lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, blamed illegal migration by citizens on economic hardship, which creates a sense of desperation.
He said though the blame could not be entirely put on the doorsteps of the current administration, the government had not done enough to address the question of citizensâ€™ survival.
Adegboruwa said, â€œThe situation of Nigeria has taught everyone to become a government to themselves. The government has neglected its responsibility under the constitution, which says that the welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. The country we live in now does not recognise merit, even when you score high mark, they tell you, you canâ€™t gain university admission because you are not from a particular part of the country; you canâ€™t get a job, there is no health facility, there is no road; so, our youths are daily dying in the Sahara Desert on their way to Libya, on their way to Italy, to Europe and I think that this is a pointer to the fact that our economy is down.
â€œWe live in a country where everybody is for himself and God for all. I believe the situation of the Nigerian economy does not offer hope for our youths; it does not offer hope for those who have no connections; and life is getting tougher by the day. So, I think that this event in particular is a pointer to the fact that our economy has not improved.
â€œBeyond what we read in the newspapers, Nigerians know what is happening in their homes, there is darkness. They know what is happening in their bank accounts â€“ salaries are not paid, pension is not paid. So, people have lost their purchasing power and so the only option left is for our people to seek greener pastures because in those places that they are going to â€“ America, Europe â€“ the things that we are battling with here are taken for granted. Nigeria is killing its people. I do not think that this government is particularly the one to blame for it but I think it has not done enough to address the question of survival for the ordinary Nigerian and that is unfortunate.â€
However, responding to the incident, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Matters, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, expressed governmentâ€™s condolences to those who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
She also appealed to Nigerian youths to stop illegal migration through the Mediterranean or the desert.
She also revealed plans to unveil a comprehensive policy document to curb illegal migration.
Dabiri-Erewa also explained that she just returned from a summit on the issue from Adis-Ababa, the Ethiopian capital.
The presidential aide further explained that the document would be unveiled in July next year. According to her, the policy document is prepared to discourage African youths from risking their lives on the perilous journey to Europe through the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert.
She revealed that no fewer than 5,000 Nigerians who emigrated illegally had been brought back to the country in the last six months.
Dabiri-Erewa said, â€œFatalities are increasing on the Mediterranean because the smugglers are using smaller boats. I just returned from a summit in Adis-Ababa where we are coming up with a comprehensive irregular migration document. By July next year, a formal document would be unveiled. I hope it would assist in checking the sad trends.
â€œThe migrants are going over there to work, so there is a way it could be properly regularised.
â€œUnfortunately, the part of Europe they are migrating to is no longer interested in saving anyone; they are tired. We are appealing to our youths to stop illegal migration.â€
www.sojworld.com Â© November 7, 2017