President Muhammadu Buhari has urged illegal migrants to stay back home and find ways to improve their personal economies.
He spoke while receiving Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo at the State House, Abuja yesterday.
Buhari, in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Nigeria had taken it upon herself to bring back thousands of her citizens stranded in Libya.
He said: “Illegal migration is now a major issue in Africa. Many dare the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea to get into Europe, and many die in the process. Or they get into trouble, as we now see in Libya. I don’t envy our position, as many Blacks claim to be Nigerians, even when they are not.
“Our Embassies in North Africa are now overworked, trying to identify the true Nigerians. Most of the reasons they mention for migrating illegally are untenable. They should stay here, and see how they can improve their own economies, instead of risking their lives,” President Buhari said.
Buhari said President Paul Kagame, as the incoming Chairman of African Union (AU), had the issues of South Sudan, separatist agitation in southern Cameroon, unrest in Togo, and many to contend with.
“Gaddafi’s long rule produced many people, whose only skill is how to shoot guns. Now, they are scattered around the continent, still with their weapons, and fomenting trouble,” Buhari said, adding that Nigeria was taking steps to curtail the development.
Mushikiwabo said Kagame looked forward to Buhari’s counsel and support as he assumes the AU chair from this month.
“He will also need counsel on security issues in the Sahel, ongoing reforms in AU, borrow your expertise in agriculture, and renew friendship and kinship between our two countries,” Mushikiwabo said.