Irked by the continuous exit of Nigerians to other countries through illegal routes, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday warned those involved to desist, stating that embarking on such trip was tantamount to risking their lives.
The president, while giving this warning during a joint press conference he had with the visiting German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, at the Presidential Villa, also stated that his administration had made it clear to all that care to listen that it would not support any illegal acts.
“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,” Buhari stressed.
The president also assured that his administration would strive to bring back those who were still trapped in Libya, in-between Nigeria and their final destinations.