155 NIGERIANS VOLUNTARILY RETURN FROM LIBYA
Nigerians are fond of traveling to other countries for greener pasture. Some voluntarily leave their families and friends behind in search for a better life. Over the years, many Nigerians have traveled to Libya hoping to move to a better country from there. Many of them were also arrested and detained for some immigration offences, subsequently, an opportunity was given to them to voluntarily return to their beloved country which was being influenced by some immigration authorities in Nigeria.
Recently, 155 others followed suit on Thursday aboard a chartered Nouvel Air aircraft two weeks after 171 Nigerians voluntarily returned home from Libya. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the aircraft landed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos at about 6.00 pm just like the initial group which returned on March 7 after being stranded in Libya while enroute Europe, the returnees were brought back by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya. They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police. Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) were also on ground to receive them.
Onimode Bandele, Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, said various agencies were on ground to welcome the returnees.
“We are here to welcome our nationals who have signified their intention to come back home from Libya.
“The returnees are being assisted back home by IOM, having being negotiated out of detention centres in Libya for various immigration offences. He further said,“We had three medical cases on board; one is paralysis, the other one is a psychiatric problem, while the third is a minor injury which has been taken care of with the effort of the IOM doctors and the Port Health Authority,”
Mr. Bandele explained that the Nigerians had gone to Libya in search of greener pastures, which unfortunately turned out to be a terrible experience for them.
The NEMA official disclosed that the exercise had been in existence since 2001, adding that about 7000 Nigerians had been assisted by IOM to return home from various countries.
“Between March 2016 to December 2016, IOM assisted 867 Nigerians back home. Between February 2017 till date, we have had 654 Nigerians.
“This means that between March 2016 to March 23, 2017, IOM had assisted 1521 Nigerians that have voluntarily returned to the country.
“This exercise we are doing here is to ensure that they are well received and we are also in touch with their respective state governments.
“They (state governments) will definitely take ownership of these voluntary returnees,” he said.
Some of the returnees were excited to be back home saying that their lives have been miserable in Lybia as most of their lives were served in detention. One of them confirmed that she cannot wait to see her children and husband, unfortunately, what she hoped for in Lybia didn’t work out well for her.
It was confirmed that the returnees were profiled by immigration authorities and were each given N19, 695 for transportation to their respective states. (NAN)
Consequently, the returnees showed gratitude to the immigration agencies for assisting to bring them back home.
This will definitely serve as a great lesson for some who leave their countries illegally for pursuit of success leaving their families behind uncared for. Nigeria government should also step up its game to boost its economy system in order for Nigerians to value living in the country.