In another pathetic development for the teeming Nigerians seeking greener pastures in Libya, a total of 98 indigenes of Edo State have been repatriated. The deportees arrived Lagos through Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
Media reports confirm that a total of 164 Nigerians, including an Edo woman and her children, received assistance from the International Organisations for Migration (IOM) and state government for the flight.
Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency were commended for effectively collaborating with IOM on the project.
Mrs Abieyuwa Oyemwense, Secretary to the Edo State Task Force against Human Trafficking who confirmed the details told newsmen that the entire number of deportees were all males.
“This is the eighth batch that we have so far received. We are going to keep them in the hotel for two nights after which they will be reunited with their families,” Oyemwense said in a press briefing.
She noted that the government has set up programmes to train them in different skills, and those who wish to return to school will be assisted to do so.
“In addition, the government is also paying them monthly stipends for three months,” she said, adding that more returnees are expected on Wednesday.
Most Nigerians think the deportees should be thankful for getting a second chance to escape from modern-day slavery and trafficking in war-torn Libya.
The first batch of returnees, a total of 275, returned at 9 p.m. on Tuesday while the latest returnees touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos at about 1.30 a.m. on Thursday.
According to Allafrica.com, the returnees who arrived aboard a Libyan Airlines aircraft at the cargo wing of the airport, comprise of 65 adult females, 179 adult males, seven children and six infants. They deported emigrants expressed happiness to have escaped from their tortuous and precarious life in Libya, from where many of them wanted to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
Alex Otoide, who is one of the deportees said he witnessed the sale of 20 Nigerian girls and that he was lucky not have died in Libya.
In her words, “They sold like 20 girls in the night…It was God that save me because more than seven people died from hunger and thirst inside the prison.
“Can’t you see how I look lean, sick and hungry…I need to go for medical checkups and treatment,” she added “Honestly, I left Nigeria with N500,000 but I spent six months in Libyan jail after the man that took my money disappeared. We were 55 that left for Libya, but a total of 25 people died in the desert.”
According to another deportee, Osas Blessing, there’s a man named Charles, who has links to some men in Libya.
“I gave Charles N450,000 but when I got to Libya he increased it to N600,000,” Blessing said of his travel experience. “He is very wicked and does not care for human lives. At a point, the Benin man told us ‘if you die you die'”.
The deportee continued, “He pushed us into the sea at the wrong time. I heard he just left Nigeria with new passengers to Libya even after frustrating many of his fellow citizens.”