171 Stranded Nigerians Return From Libya

Evacuated Nigerians living in Libya arrive Port Harcourt

Lagos, Nigeria, June 7, 2018// – No fewer than 171 Nigerians were on Tuesday night returned to the country through Libya in the ongoing repatriation of the country’s citizens from the war-torn North African country.

The returnees comprised 70 female adults, including nine pregnant women, 90 male adults, three children and eight infants.

Eight of the returnees returned to the country in bad health.

The stranded Nigerians were received at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, by the officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The Nigerians were returned to the country through the assistance of the Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The returnees arrived the cargo wing of the Lagos airport via Buraq Airline with registration number 5A-DMG at about 8:25p.m and flight number UZ589.

NEMA said the returnees were brought from Zintan District of Libya.

The South West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alh. Yakubu Suleiman, implored parents and guardians to stop encouraging their children and wards from embarking on such perilous journeys.

While addressing the returnees on their arrival, Suleiman expressed disappointment with parents who support their children to go outside the country through illegal routes by selling their properties to raise funds for the journey.

Suleiman appealed to the returnees to be anti-trafficking champions and enlighten those still trying to embark on such journeys.

“We have been inundated with parents calling that they have lost contact with their children while many would continue to raise money from home and send to children who would have been held captive and must be settled before they are set free.

“You have seen it all, experience is the best teacher. Today, all of you are saying you will never encourage any of your family members to travel outside, wasting huge resources through illegal routes despite various risks and dangers.

“I am begging you to also carry this message to the people you come across in life and share your experiences to discourage young people wasting their energies and productive life in seeking wealth.”

One of the returnees, Vivian Loveth, 22, disclosed that her parents were struggling to survive and were peasant farmers.

She explained that the urge to improve the poor condition of her parents lured her into embarking on a journey to Libya.

She said her intention was to travel to France for prostitution. “I didn’t mind it inasmuch as I can make my parents comfortable,” she said.

Loveth added: “On getting to Libya, after much suffering on the road from Kano, I was held by some Libyans and my parents’ trafficker raised money to free me.

“Again, I was held by another group, but this time, I had to call my parents to raise money in order to free me.

“They sold everything they had to send to me, but I was able to return to Nigeria through the assistance of IOM when we could no longer proceed to my destination.

“I was made to swear that upon reaching France and working, I would pay my trafficker £12,000 and the herbalist £1,000 to settle all the expenses paid on me by my trafficker and the herbalist because I couldn’t raise any money for the journey.

“Now I am back in Nigeria without anything to show for it. My parents will be worst hit and how can I help my parents to recover?”




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