June 17, 2009

Plight of natives in Libyan prisons worries Edo govt

By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—Edo State  government has expressed worries over what it described as the “unfriendly” attitude of the Libyan government towards the efforts being made by the Federal Government to secure the release of the over 1,500 Edo natives languishing in Libyan prison.

It would be recalled that the victims were arrested by Libyan security operatives while trying to travel to Europe without genuine documents three months ago.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Foreign Matters, Mr. Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, who represented the governor  at a meeting with officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministry Monday, regretted that the victims would have been flown back home if the Libyan Embassy in Nigeria was functional.

According to him, “because the Comrade governor was very worried with the deaths and inhuman treatment being meted to our people over there, we have been making frantic efforts with the Foreign Ministry to speak with the Libyan officials but what we discovered so far is that they are very difficult people to deal with.

I do not know what we did to them as a nation that they are being very unreasonable to the plight of our people.

“We deliberated on this matter for over three hours in Abuja and the state government was very satisfied with the efforts being made to get in touch with the Libyan government on this matter.

But what we have done now is to reach out to the Nigeria Embassy in Libya to assist us make contact with the Libyan government. But we have resolved that if it is still difficult, we will have no choice than to fly down to Libya and secure their release vigorously,” he stated.

Agbonayinma added that “we also resolve that the Ministry in collaboration with the Edo state government will be organizing seminars to educate our people on the need for them to obtain the right documents before embarking on any journey.

The Comrade Governor is very worried about the situation of our people over there and he has vowed to ensure that jobs are provided for our people here so that no body will think of traveling abroad”.