- The Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria says over 700 Nigerians died in the Mediterranean Sea while migrating illegally in the last six months
- The group pointed out that Nigeria has the highest number of illegal migrants from Africa
- It said it is on a mission to raise awareness on the risks and dangers of irregular migration
Over 700 Nigerians died in the Mediterranean Sea while migrating illegally in the last six months, the Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN) has disclosed.
The group made the disclosure via its president, Femi Awoniyi, while addressing newsmen in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that Awoniyi, however, pointed out that compared to those who died while trying to cross the Sahara Desert, the figure is low.
He lamented that Nigerians have the highest rate of rejection among sub-Sahara asylum applicants in the European Union; as he pointed out that the country has the highest number of illegal migrants from Africa.
He said: “This year alone, more than 1,500 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, many of them Nigerians.
“This is not even counting those who have died travelling through the Sahara Desert, or in the transit countries.
“Everybody knows that more than half of Saharan migrants in Africa are Nigerians. We cannot count the number of people who die in the Sahara Desert. Experts say more people die in the Sahara Desert than the Mediterranean.
“For those who are lucky to reach Europe, a difficult struggle to obtain legal residency begins.
“More than 30,000 Nigerians are currently awaiting deportation in Germany alone. Their asylum claims have been rejected since Nigeria is not considered by the European Union as a country where there is political persecution."
Awoniyi said the MEPN was on a mission to dispel the notion that they are better job opportunities outside the shores of Nigeria, and also raise awareness on the risks and dangers of irregular migration.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) disclosed that hundreds of migrants from Nigerian and other countries that were crossing to Italy and Spain, were feared dead in the Mediterranean Sea.
IOM’s public information officer in Libya, Christine Petré, reported that the boats carrying the migrants departed from the coastal towns of Azzawiyah and Al Khums in Libya.
Mass deportation: Tales of woes from Libya - on NAIJ.com TV: