Based on the agreement between the United Nations International Office for Migration, IOM, and the Federal Government, to evacuate Nigerians from Libya, another batch of 171 Nigerians stranded in Libya have successfully again been evacuated from that country.
This is coming barely a week after a batch of over 150 Nigerians voluntarily returned home.
This recent batch arrived at the Hajj Camp of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos aboard a chattered Airbus A320 aircraft and where attended by the officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Immigration officials and officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP and IOM.
The returnees comprised 112 females, 49 males, 6 infants and 7 children as disclosed by the NEMA’s director of Search and Rescue, Air commodore Salisu Muhammed.
The e senior special adviser to the president of foreign affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri Erewa who received the returnees used the occasion to advise parents and guardians never to encourage their children or wards to seek greener pastures that could lead to their death or endanger their lives.
She said it was unfortunate that their quest had turned out like this, adding that they were not criminals
“But unfortunately, it turned out to be a terrible experience for them. They are not criminals, so they don’t need to be ashamed of themselves. But Mr. president has written to let us personally to convey his greetings to them and to let them know that they are back in Nigeria and there is no better time than now. Though times are tough, things are difficult, but there is no better time to come back than now as your country is the best place to live”.
Mrs. Dabiri -Erewa noted that for proper reintegration into the society, some states like Edo state has put in place an empowerment program to Help such ones
“Some states like Edo state have said that as they come back, they are going to arrange a programme of empowerment for them and also re integrate them into the society. But the question is how long are we going to keep evacuating them. So there is going to be another evacuation and then the final one where we will tell every Nigerian stranded in Libya to come back home because after that, it will be difficult getting the International Organisation for Migration, IOM to do that.
One of the returnees, a single mother from Delta state who spoke to reporters in tears, Miss Gift Peter, said she was deceived by the man who took her to Libya as she was told that her destination was Germany unknown to her she was going to be a sex object and her refusal led to torture
“I travelled to Libya about 11 months ago, I was deceived that I was going to Germany, but when it was not in my mind to continue with the journey, I asked him, the trafficker to take me back and he started maltreating me. They will do things that will make you want to die, they will even use hot electric iron to burn that person, they will even ask other girls to urinate for you to drink. My family was not aware of my situation in Libya. So I called my friend in Nigeria and told him the situation am going through in Libya and he took my matter to the Police station to arrest the man who took me to Libya, but anytime the police check on the man’s house, they would not see him. I have even said that if I come to Nigeria, I will look for the man myself. Is not easy at all, even now some of our girls are right now in prison, especially the innocent ones, while the culprits are out there free, many of them have died. Many did not survive the gun shot when they were catching everybody, some people were shot at the scene and some others died in prison. Many of my friends I went to Libya with have all died”