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1,500 Illegal Edo Immigrants Languish in Libyan Prisons

Simon Ebegbulem Last update 02-03-2009

Benin — OVER one thousand five hundred indigenes of Edo State who were on their way to Europe through Libya without genuine documents have been languishing in detention in Libya in the past three months.

Six of the women among them, were said to have been impregnated by the Libyan security operatives.

One of the victims, who identified himself as Charles Erawuyi, lamented to Vanguard on telephone yesterday that they were arrested while trying to enter Europe through Libya . He explained that over three thousand of them, including citizens of Kenya and Mali, were arrested but their governments have intervened to secure their release while only Nigerians remained in jail.

He said that among the Nigerians, one thousand five hundred of them are from Edo State and that six of the women amongst them have been impregnated by the Libyan security operatives who used the ladies to satisfy their sex urge.

But the state government through the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Foreign Matters-Diaspora, Mr Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, and a member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Samson Osagie, described the plight of the victims as wicked and inhuman, saying the state government would do all it could to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to secure their release.

According to Ehiozuwa, " the Comrade governor is very concerned about the situation because we found out that majority of them are from Edo State.

We have already made contact with the Federal Government to see what we can do to secure their urgent release. It is also sad to know that some of the girls have been impregnated.

That is very bad and it is unacceptable. We will not only seek for their release, we will also ensure that those who are involved in such inhuman treatment are punished.

"But we want to advise our people to stop rushing outside the country without genuine papers. The Comrade governor has put every thing in place to make the state more comfortable for the people. They should stay and apply for jobs because jobs are being created".

We want to say that it is not rosy out there, instead of going without genuine papers, we will advise that they look for what to do in the country.

"The Comrade Governor is seriously concerned about the plight of our people out there and he is reaching out to the Federal agencies to see what we can do. We cannot afford to allow our people perish out there" he stated.

On his part, Mr Osagie hinted that "I and some members of the House of Representatives will be going to Libya in the third week of this month to see what we can do to secure their release. The situation is very sad, though I learnt that the girls have been deported back already. We will go and secure the release of the men because no matter how we see it they are Nigerians".

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