He said the Nigerian government is not in support of illegal migration of its citizens.
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to stop travelling through unsafe channels in their bid to illegally gain access to foreign countries in the search of greener pastures.
The president issued this warning during a joint press conference with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, who paid him a visit at the Presidential Villa on Friday, August 31, 2018.
With illegal migration one of the biggest issues discussed by the two leaders in a closed-door meeting, Buhari said the Nigerian government is not in support of illegal migration of its citizens. He advised Nigerians to stop endangering their lives in search of greener pastures in distant countries.
He said, “I’m against my countrymen and women that illegally find their ways to other countries other than Nigeria, but I believe you know that the ECOWAS protocol includes free movement of persons and goods and services.
“But for those going to Europe, we are not, as an administration, agreeing for Nigerians to defy the Sahara desert and the Mediterranean because they feel that there are greener pastures there, whether they’ve prepared for it or not. We do not support anything illegal and indisciplined.
“You must recall that about six weeks ago, we repatriated about 3,000 Nigerians that were stuck in Libya on their way to Europe and you also must have read in the papers and seen in the television the number of Nigerians lost in the Mediterranean.”
The president further warned that anyone that embarks on dangeorus journeys to travel overseas do so at risks to themselves.
“This administration is very clear, we do not support anything illegal, and anybody who feels that his country does not value him, does not offer him what he should be offered as a citizen and decided to defy the desert and the Mediterranean is doing it at his own risk; but if found stuck in Libya or anywhere between his final destination and Nigeria we will bring him back home and send him back to his local government,” he warned.
Conduct credible elections in 2019 – Merkel tells Buhari
Merkel’s visit to Buhari in Abuja concludes her tour of Africa after similar visits to Senegal and Ghana this week. Her visit focused on strengthening economic development and containing illegal migration.
She urged President Buhari to ensure that the 2019 general elections are free, fair and credible for everyone involved.
Speaking through a translator, she said, “I appeal that the forth-coming elections in Nigeria should be free, fair and credible. It should not result to chaos or complete breakdown of law and order. A credible election is an important aspect of democracy and good governance.”
Merkel also talked about boosting Nigeria’s power generation capacity and noted that she would be focusing on boosting small businesses in the three African countries she visited.