The Federal Government, FG, says it has written to the Italian Embassy asking it why the 26 migrants recovered from the Mediterranean were buried nine days before the agreed date. To this effect, the FG expressed dismay over the hasty burial of the 26 girls. FG demands explanation from Italy.
The bodies of the girls were found on a sinking vessel in the Mediterranean about two weeks ago and there were reports that they may have been sexually abused before they were murdered.
FG demands explanation from Italy
Speaking on the incident, the Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa told journalists in Abuja on Monday that the Italian Embassy had earlier indicated to the Director-General, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons that the burial would take place in Salerno, Italy on November 26, 2017.
But the Italian authorities, she said, went ahead with the burial last Friday without informing the Nigerian government, adding that the NAPTIP director is currently in Italy to engage with the Italian authorities ahead of the scheduled burial date.
The SSA explained that a protest letter had been sent to the Italian envoy in Nigeria over the matter.
“Why were they (the bodies) hurriedly buried nine days before the date communicated to the DG, NAPTIP by the Italian Embassy without any information to Nigerian Government? Why the rush to bury the bodies without carrying out post-mortem to determine the causes of death?,” she queried.
Dabiri-Erewa said that information indicated that only three of the girls were identified as Nigerians, noting that the identities of the other victims had yet to be ascertained before they were interred.
While condemning the reported sale of Africans in a Libyan slave market as broadcast by CNN, the SSA said this was unacceptable, despicable and inhuman. She further noted that another issue of concern was that the victims’ families may have wanted them buried in their countries of origin.