The Federal government has finally confirmed the identity of the 26 Italy-bound migrants who were drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on Sunday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the migrants are all teenage girls and they are all Nigerians heading for Italy in search of the greener pastures. Hundreds of others, it was learnt, survived.
The teenage Nigerian girls, report says, were sexually abused and murdered at the sea. But Italian prosecutors have begun an investigation into the deaths of the victims.
Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Ministry, Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, in a statement, described the death as “a monumental loss and a sad moment to our country.”
“Further to this, we have received a reliable report from our Mission in Rome that the dead bodies of Twenty-Six (26) suspected Nigerians all of whom were female between the ages of fourteen and eighteen were discovered on Sunday 5th November, 2017 in the Mediterranean Sea.
“The report indicates that a Spanish Warship, Cantabria, brought the remains of the migrants to Southern Italian Port of Salerno.
“The Italian security officials who made this discovery are yet to confirm if they were purposely killed and why all who died were female.
“Meanwhile, the Italian Police Chief in Salerno who noted that it appears they were drowned, has launched an investigation into the cause of their death to ascertain if they were either tortured or sexually assaulted.
“Indeed, this is a monumental loss and a sad moment to our country.
“As more investigations are being conducted on the unfortunate incident, the Federal Government wishes to commiserate with the family members of the victims.”