The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, has said terrorists may be among Nigerians being evacuated from Libya.
Also, leader of the Federal Government Fact-Finding Delegation to Libya and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said very influential and powerful people are behind the Libyan human trafficking, and added that the Libyan affair needs both political and diplomatic engagements.
The minister said Libya is currently almost a failed state with different centres of power in the country.
He added that the Central Government recognised by the United Nations and the African Union do not have full control of the country.
“The political engagement is extremely important and the diplomatic engagement because the criminal elements involved in this trafficking and this migration question means that a lot of our children are nothing more than property, commodities being monetised, sold to work in various parts of Libya; traded, sexually abused and exploited for profit of different people, including Nigerians.
“So, there are very influential and powerful people who have interests in these young boys and girls not returning to Nigeria because they are economic assets for them,” Onyeama said.
Earlier, during a press briefing by the federal government delegation, yesterday, the NEMA DG, Maihaja, said different security agencies will profile the returnees in order to ascertain their true identity.
Maihaja specifically said the returnees would be profiled by the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Directorate of State Services and all other agencies, to get the actual profile of the returnees.
“Some of them that have criminal tendencies will be taken care of by the relevant agencies.
“Some that are identified to be really criminals or some of them were told that could have ISIS inclination would also be taken care of,” Maihaja said.
Maihaja added that the Nigerian authorities did not even know the status of the returnees before evacuating them from Libya.
“It has to be revisited and reviewed and be sure that when they are finally released into the society, they cannot constitute nuisance,” Maihaja stated.
Maihaja added that NEMA was charged with the strategising, planning and operational activities of the illegal Europe migrants through Libya.
He said three operational blocks were activated just before Christmas which included the fact-finding and negotiation mission team; the operational secretariat domiciled in NEMA and the reception centre.
This was just as the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede, said 16,387 were deported to Nigeria from across the globe, last year.
Four hundred and eighty five Nigerians from Libya were received in Port Harcourt on Sunday, just as 545 returnees landed in the country, yesterday.
Babandede said Nigerians in Libya comprised trafficked persons, smuggled persons, irregular migrants and Nigerians who are legally living in Libya.
“I want to state that in 2017 alone, I don’t want people to look at just being strict, we have received in our country, deportees specifically from Libya, 5908. Only from Libya last year.
“So, if you add to the number we received on Sunday; we received 485 from Libya. If you total it, it will give you 6,393 deportees we received from Libya.
“The ratio is very interesting between male and female. The one for Sunday, males were 398 while there were 84 females and three children.
“And, if you put the total aggregate from January to December and this is January; so, one year plus one month, it will be interesting to find out that the deportees from Libya, 3498 were men; 2684 were females, minors 211 which shows the ratio between males and females in Libya is almost balance. This should be of interest,” Babandede said.
Babandede also said surprisingly, Nigeria had returnees totalling 3836 deportees from Saudi Arabia in 2017 alone.
“The ratio is very interesting for Saudi Arabia. Males, only 395; females, 2331. See the ratio is higher in Saudi Arabia… Children, 1110.
“So, the total number of deportees we had from Saudi Arabia was 3836.
“From other countries, you know Europe has been deporting, the highest number come from South Africa, Italy and Austria.
“The total number we have from other countries are greater than the one in Libya, 6643.
“So, the grand total of persons deported to Nigeria in 2017 was 16,387.
“We are afraid this might continue and it will be higher in 2018,” Babandede said.