NEMA Receives Another 193 More Stranded Nigerians Return From Libya

193 More Stranded Nigerians Return From Libya

The returnees arrived aboard a chartered Tunisia airline which touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos around 8:32 pm on Thursday.

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the acting Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Segun Afolayan.

According to him, their return was made possible through the efforts of the agency in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

While welcoming them, the new South West Commander of National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr Atokolo Daniel, asked the returnees to join the fight against human trafficking.

The returnees consist of 96 female and 97 male including infants and children,He also asked them to disclose the identities of all those involved in the trafficking and smuggling of Nigerians.

Narrating his ordeal, one of the returnees, Chukwudi Onyemechie, 30, from Anambra, said he was a successful auto tyres dealer at Ladipo Market in Lagos before he was deceived and promised of a better life in Europe.

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According to him, a man convinced him that he could help him travel to France and then linked him to his friend in Libya. Afterwards, he (Chukwudi) sold off his wares and took off to Benin Republic from where his journey to Libya began.

He said, “I was told that that the journey would be by road but I never knew that it was a deadly and dangerous route. I entered Libya town where I was taken to a camp controlled by Nigerians where I spent three months in detention.

“My trafficker organised my detention in other that I would be forced to pay him money.“He asked me to pay some amount to another man who denied that I had paid. My trafficker claimed he settled the man and I had to double the amount.

“I left Nigeria in June, 2017, I experienced unstable and dangerous life over there. After struggling to cross unsuccessfully, I was helped to get to IOM office in Libya who helped me back to Nigeria today.

“I am proud to be a Nigerian, though, we have challenges, but we are better and I am happy to be back.

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“My advice to youth is that they should never think of traveling to Libya for anything, if you must travel, it is better to take regular routes and seek proper information before taking a decision.

Another returnee, Ajasa Kikelomo who is a mother of one and hails from Ibadan, Oyo State, said she left Nigeria in 2016 with the hope of getting a better job.

Regretting her ordeal in Libya, she said, “I got to Libya with God as my savior but the racial discrimination by the Libyans are too bad.

“If you’re unfortunate to enter a bus and sit beside a Libyan, throughout the journey, the Libyan will not want your body to touch his own and he would cover his noise throughout. Though, some of them are very nice and good but majority, especially the youths don’t wish well for the blacks.”

According to her, she eventually got a job as a housemaid but encountered difficulties anytime she attempted to send money back home to her family.
“If I want to send 20,000 naira to Nigeria, I must part away with N40,000 or N50,000 before my family will get the N20,000.

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“There is no banking system there. Nigerians who had settled down are the launderers, they have their Nigerian bank accounts.

“Once we pay them in dinars, we don’t know how they transmit the money, but our families will receive what we agreed in their bank accounts here in Nigeria.

“I am not happy for the wasted years, if I had stayed back, I could have been more settled and successful. My husband left for Dubai last year but tonight he will be coming back too.

“Nigerians should be proud of what they have and work instead of travelling outside looking for what riches that are not available outside,” she said.

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Oluseyi Adefowora

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