The Federal Government has expressed surprise and shock over the sudden burial of the 26 African girls drowned in the Mediterranean Sea by Italian authorities
nine days ahead of the slated date.
The Italian Embassy, it was gathered earlier indicated to the Director General of NAPTIP that the burial will take place in Salerno, Italy on Nov. 26, 2017.
The government said it was surprised that the Italian authorities went ahead with the burial on November, 17th 2017, nine days before the stated date.
The position of the Nigerian government was made known at a joint news conference by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and a representative of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person in Abuja on Monday.
A statement by the Media aide to Hon. Dabiri –Erewa, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, stated that a letter to the effect had been sent to the Italian envoy in Nigeria.
The statement said, “Why were they hurriedly buried nine days before the date communicated to the DG of NAPTIP by the Italian Embassy without any information to Nigerian Government’’, they asked The DG of NAPTIP is currently in Italy to engage with the Italian authorities as they prepare for the burial on the Nov. 26.
“Also, information available indicates that only three of the girls are said to be identified as Nigerians amidst allegations that the girls may have been assaulted and ill-treated by their traffickers.
“On the issue of Africans sold by Africans in Libya to Europe, as reported by the CNN in a report titled “People for sale; where lives are auctioned for $400”, this is totally unacceptable, despicable, and inhumane and should be condemned by anyone who is human and has blood running through their veins.
“They appealed to the African Union, European Union, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR), International Organization on Migration (IOM) and the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), to intervene in the matter and tackle this issue of slavery happening in Libya and also mete out sanctions to the perpetrators of such heinous crime”.