By Kunle John
Five days after an outcry led by the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), the 30 Nigerians in a video appealing for help have been rescued by the Nigerian Mission in Lebanon, and have been relocated to a more conducive apartment.
Ajibola Abayomi, the President of JIFORM in a statement on Friday had called on the relevant agencies of the government to ensure speedy evacuation of the trafficked ladies and called for through investigation and subsequent prosecution of those involved in the crime.
The ladies will be now part of the 150 Nigerians stranded in Lebanon to be evacuated back to Nigeria.
A statement issued by the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM)’s Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit signed by Gabriel Odu on Tuesday confirmed that the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Houssam Diab disclosed the evacuation plans when NIDCOM led by the Secretary Egnr. Dr Sule Yakubu Bassi visited the Embassy in Abuja.
Diab affirmed that the girls would be returned home in batches.
The first batch would leave Beirut, Lebanon on August 12 to Lagos while the second set would be returned to Abuja on August 16.
The Diplomat commended the efforts of the Lebanese community and the Oyo State Government that is sponsoring the return of 55 of the girls.
Bassi on behalf of the Chairman/CEO NIDCOM, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa applauded the excellent ties between Nigeria and Lebanon and urged both countries to sustain the relationship.
He also acknowledged the commitment of the Nigerian Ambassador to Lebanon Amb. Goni Madu Zanna Bura, Mission staff, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Oyo and Ogun State Governments, and other strategic partners.
As part of the Nigerian Embassy’s Consular responsibility, the ladies on the said video that went viral and many other distressed Nigerian domestic workers had been relocated to a safer location.
These victims according to NIDCOM are expected handed over to the National Agency of Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) upon arrival.
The breakdown of the rescued ladies showed that 41 of them are from Oyo State, Ogun has 21, Lagos 12, Ondo 18, Osun 26, Imo 3, Kwara 9, , Ekiti 6, Delta 3, Edo, Ebonyi, while Benue , Abia, Akwa Ibom and Anambra, Kogi and Enugu states have one victim each on the list.