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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Another 171 Nigerians return from Libya with tales of woe

Some of the recent returnees at MMIA

Another batch of 171 Nigerians arrived Lagos from Libya yesterday with tales of woes and sad experiences in the North African country.

The voluntary returnees touched down at the Cargo section of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos around 4pm, aboard a Buraq Air plane with registration number TNSIB (UZ189/190). They were 95 females (comprising 83 adults, 10 children and two infants) and 79 males (73 adults, two children and one infant).

Three of the returnees had medical cases. One came with burns, another depression and the third had a minor ailment.

A total of 171 Nigerians were deported on February 21, while 161 voluntarily returned with the support of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on February 14 this year. Yesterday’s return was the third this year and eighth of such in the last 15 months.

Eloha Erhie, from Delta State, told The Guardian that she was lured to Libya by an agent who promised to help her get to Germany. But on getting to Libya, she was defrauded of N360,000 and subsequently sold to slavery for 600 Dinas (N1.2million). She was still repaying one-year on when she was arrested by authorities in January this year.

Erhie said of Libya: “It is not a country I would have wished for my enemy. They (Libyans) treat all human beings as animals. They don’t value life at all. They kidnap freely, white or black.

“Even taxi man will kidnap you and take you to prison where you will suffer for nine months out of a year. No good food or water. Whether cold or heat, they are all bad. I’m happy to make it back alive,” she said.

Another returnee, Ezekiel, said he managed to escape being shot on a day his neighbourhood was besieged and many blacks killed in one fell swoop.

Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Dr. Bandele Onimode, said no fewer than 643 persons had been received from Libya between December 14, 2016 and yesterday.

According to him, efforts to return Nigerians stranded in the nooks and crannies of Libya are ongoing, and as soon as IOM Libya and their Nigerian counterpart notify of another coordination of Nigerians, NEMA will respond with necessary machinery to receive the returnees.

Vía The Guardian Nigeria

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