Thirty Nigerians stranded in Lebanon who were seen in viral video appealing to the government to help get them out of the country have been rescued while 150 other victims are awaiting evacuation to Nigeria.
Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, disclosed this on Tuesday.
According to the commission they had to initiative the move after a video footage of the stranded Nigerians making an appeal to the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to their aid viral on the Internet.
He said, “They will be part of 150 others to be evacuated to Nigeria after they were trafficked and left stranded in Lebanon.
In his remarks Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Houssam Diab disclosed the evacuation plans when the Management of NIDCOM, led by the Secretary, Dr Sule Bassi, visited that country’s mission in Abuja,”
” Diab said that the 150 girls would be returned home in batches with the first group of 110 people leaving Beirut for Lagos on Aug. 12. The second batch sws expected to arrive Abuja on Aug. 16.
“The diplomat commended efforts of the Lebanese Community and the Oyo State Government who is sponsoring the return of 55 of the girls,” he said.
Chairman/CEO, of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who spoke on behalf of NIDCOM acknowledged the excellent ties between Nigeria and Lebanon, urged both countries to sustain the cordial relationship.
Bassi on his part lauded the Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Amb. Goni Madu Zanna Bura for his dedication and commitment. He also commended the staff of the Nigerian mission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Oyo and Ogun state governments and other strategic partners for their efforts.
He said “As part of the Nigerian Embassy’s Consular responsibility, the ladies in the said video that went viral and many other distressed Nigerian domestic workers were located and relocated to a safer place.
“Suffice it to say that 150 of these stranded victims are expected to be evacuated next week and handed over to NAPTIP, the agency responsible for (dealing with human) trafficking.
“A break down of the evacuees shows that Oyo State had 41, Ogun 21, Lagos 12, Ondo 18, Osun 26, and Imo 3.
Others include Kwara 9, Enugu 1, Ekiti 6, Kogi 1, Edo 1, Delta 3, Ebonyi 1, Benue 1, Abia 1, Akwa Ibom 1, and Anambra 1,”.