The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday has queried the Italian government over the quick burial of 26 Nigerian migrants who were found dead in a Spanish warship, Cantabria, in the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the Federal Government, the agreement reached with the Italian government was to have the burial on the 26th of November but the government is now querying its Italian counterpart on why the young women will be buried hurriedly before the agreed date.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Monday, November 20, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that only three of the girls were identified as Nigerians at the time of the burial. She likewise noted that sufficient time was not given by the Italian government to identify the girls properly, stressing that the Federal Government would investigate the matter at the highest diplomatic level.
“It was shocking to watch the burial of these migrants on television, I think on November 17, because the information from the Italian Embassy to NAPTIP was the fact that these girls would be buried on November 26.
“We are asking the Italian authorities, and we have communicated a letter through the Italian Embassy here in Nigeria, why these girls were buried earlier.
“Secondly, where are the results of the pathological tests that were done? Who conducted the DNA tests? And how do we now identify that all 26 girls were Nigerians? “From available information from Italy, about three girls can be identified to be Nigerians. Did Italy get the permission to go ahead with the burial of these girls, no matter their nationalities?
“We appeal to the Italian authorities, we are going to take this up at the highest diplomatic level and we are going to get answers.”
Dabiri-Arewa, finally noted.
You will recall that the 26 Nigerian migrants were mass buried late last week at the Salerno Monumental cemetery, where 26 coffins were laid down with flowers and a Catholic priest and Imam prayed on their remains.