Abike Dabiri-Erewa, senior special assistant to the president on diaspora affairs, says the German embassy in Nigeria has intimated her office of plans to repatriate at least 12,000 Nigerian asylum seekers from the European country.
Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday during the public presentation of two books ‘From Libya with Tears’ and ‘Practical News and Feature Writing’, Dabiri-Erewa advised Nigerians against desperation to travel abroad despite the risks involved.
The books were written by Dele Bodunde, who retired as a managing editor/director in NAN, after the attainment of 60 years.
She also disclosed that at least 128 Nigerians were among the over 576 West African migrants who recently died in the Mediterranean sea while on their way to Europe.
Dabiri-Erewa, represented by Abdul-Rahman Balogun, her special assistant on media, said most of the victims were heading to Italy en route the Libyan coast, when the tragedy occurred.
She described the incident as unfortunate, saying the story was one too many.
“Just some days ago, 128 Nigerians died on the Mediterranean sea out of 576 migrants. Most of them were from West African countries and they were on their way to Europe,” she said.
“Now, this is an unfortunate incident and I think it is better to remain in Nigeria and keep struggling, instead of making desperate journeys that could take their lives.”
Dabiri-Erewa said some Nigerians had been trapped in Libya and were subjected to various inhuman treatments until the intervention of the federal government.
The presidential aide commended Bodunde for writing a book on the travails of Nigerians in Libya, saying the work could not have come at a better time.
Also speaking at the occasion, Olusegun Osoba, a former governor of Ogun state and a veteran journalist, said there was need for journalists to constantly update themselves with the requisite skills of the profession.
According to Osoba, the main problem to the development of the profession is a deficit in skills.
He commended the author for writing a book that sought to address the problem and urged practicing and aspiring journalists to avail themselves of the books, for their professional and personal development.
In his speech, Bayo Onanuga, managing director of NAN, described the retiring director as an accomplished journalist, who had made a great impact at the agency.
Ade Obisesan, the book reviewer, described ‘From Libya with Tears’ as an eye opener, saying it highlighted the travails of Nigerian girls trafficked to Libya.
Obisesan said the book was beautifully written and reflected the writer’s hatred for anything that dehumanises the female child.
Bodunde thanked the guests, as well as the staff and management of NAN for the opportunity to serve the nation.
He promised to continue to contribute his quota to the journalism profession, even in retirement.