Most of the dead victims are teenagers aged 14 to 18.
The bodies of the victims were recovered from two separate shipwrecks, 23 from one and three from the other, with most of them reported to be teenagers aged between 14 to 18.
On his Twitter account (@atiku) on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, the former Vice President condemned the tragedy and called on the government to create more jobs to discourage Nigerians from fleeing abroad for better opportunities.
He tweeted, "Deeply saddened by the death of 26 Nigerian girls in the Mediterranean. I pray for strength for their families. We must get desperate about creating more jobs, so our young people are not forced to run away from their own country."
According to a report by La Repubblica, most of the 375 survivors of the shipwrecks were sub-Saharan Africans, from Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, The Gambia and Sudan, with 90 women - eight of them pregnant - and 52 children.
One of the survivors, 23-year-old Dora Omoruyi from Edo State, said she embarked on the journey because she saw no future for herself in Nigeria.
"I wanted to reach Italy. I don't know what to do now. I see no future in Nigeria, there are no jobs."
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Italian authorities have already arrested two men in connection to the heinous crime. The two men, named as Al Mabrouc Wisam Harar, from Libya, and Egyptian Mohamed Ali Al Bouzid, have been charged by investigators after they were identified by survivors as the captains of one of the boats where the victims were killed.