27,000 Nigerians die in 2016 crossing desert to Europe, says ex-Envoy
From: Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to United Nations, in New York and Geneva, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi has disclosed that out of 602,000 Nigerians migrating to European countries last year through desert,27,000 eventually die en routes.
Uhomoibhi, who stated this in Birnin-Kebbi during the courtesy visit of European Union(EU) Ambassador to Nigeria/ ECOWAS, Amb. Michael Arrion to Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu at Government House said 68 percent of dead immigrants were graduates from Nigeria higher institutions.
“You can imagine that trend! We are not at war like Syria, Iraq,why are we migrating as if there is war?.
The former envoy lamented that some immigrants that escaped through the deserts became ” slaves in Libya ” and other engaged in illegal immoral businesses.
“We are not saying we should not migrate especially for studies. But our destiny is here. Nobody will help Nigeria except ourselves”.
EU Ambassador Mr. Arrion told Governor that European countries would always welcome legitimate immigrants from African countries because the Union has interest of the continent growth and development as its priority.
He noted that EU would sustained its ancient partnerships with African especially on investment, education, industrialisation, and work force.
Ambassador Arrion said that about seven Millions children are born yearly in Nigeria alone while five millions children born in European countries stressed that ” we would continue to partner with African, especially Nigeria on our common historical bilateral ” .
Governor Bagudu, in his remark, said many Nigerians love their countries and it was always hard decision for majorities to leave their homes to unknown destinations because of searching for greener pastures.
Bagudu, who requested EU to establish Universities, Industries in Nigeria to reduce large number of immigrants to EU said, if what they are looking as ” greener pasture is within their reach ,they will not take unnecessary risks”.
The Governor said that EU should share their prosperity with Nigeria in the interest of globalization, stressed that “Nigeria want assistance in education, investment, agriculture ,we want our children to be Pilots, then,security of our country”.
He added that Kebbi State shared borders, cultures traditions with Niger and Benin Republics before Nigeria’s regained her Independent in stressed that most of the children roaming the streets during school hours are from neighbour countries.
Governor said Nigerian government is working hard to end Almajiris and Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country caused by ongoing war against Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states of the North -East of the country.