The Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal Government to summon the Libyan ambassador to Nigeria over the slave auctions of Nigerians in Libya.
The upper chamber also condemned the act exhibited by the Libyans selling fellow Africans as slaves, describing it as depraved and animalistic.
This was sequel to a motion on “Urgent need to Protect Nigerian Citizens from the Libya Slavery Auctions“, sponsored by Baba Garbai (APC-Borno) during the plenary.
He called for the repatriation and rehabilitation of Nigerian citizens caught up in the despicable treatment and human right abuses.
“These are our people who are just trying to flee from poverty and deprivation,” he said.
Garbai said the slave trade was not just a humiliation of Nigerians and Africans, but also to human civilisation and the fundamental principles of human rights under the United Nations Charter.
“Not long ago, about 4,000 Nigerians were intercepted when they were about to enter the Mediterranean Sea and deported from Libya.
“The Libyan immigration authority informed the CNN that of an estimated 25,000, 4000 are from Nigeria and are being held at various detention centres in the country.”
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Garbai expressed worry that the Libyan Government did not seem to have the means or commitment to crack down on the perpetrators of slave aution.
He noted that the smuggling networks were killing, and torturing, extorting and detaining migrants at will.
The Senator also expressed concern that Nigeria would be failing in its duty if it sat idle and watched any of its citizens being put into slavery.
Contributing to the debate, Ali Wakili (APC-Bauchi), said the root causes of illegal migration among Nigerians, such as poverty and unemployment, must be addressed.
Similarly, Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi), condemned the continuous dehumanisation of Nigerians in Libya.
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“Nigeria must take the life of every Nigerian not only seriously but also to defend Nigerians anywhere in the world,” he said.
Also, Chairperson, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Monsurat Sunmonu said, “We are working with the executive on the case. It is ongoing; we believe that within one to two weeks, we will make our findings,” she said.
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki described the situation as “deplorable”.
“It is a slap on the face of all of us if Nigerians can be treated in that manner. We need to bring our citizens back,” Saraki said.