No fewer than 253 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya to Nigeria yesterday Tuesday April 25 aboard a chartered Airbus A330-200 with registration mark 5A-LAT operated by Libya Airlines
According to reports, they arrived at about 6:45 pm at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) received 253 Nigerians (102 males, 140 females, 6 children and 5 infants)
They were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) after the Federal Government asked for its assistance after confirming that some Nigerians were willing to return home.
Addressing newsmen at the Hajj Camp wing of the airport where the returnees were profiled, the Director General of NEMA, Engr Mustapha Maihaja, represented by the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, Dr. Abdullahi Onimode, said the deportees would be given some token to go back to their respective destinations.
'We are giving them some stipends. We need to let them realize that the country they left some years ago is not the same country they are meeting today. We have moved ahead and everybody now has equal opportunity to be the best you can be,' he said
He also advised those leaving the country in search of greener pastures to have a rethink and stay in the country to develop it.
Speaking to Vanguard, one of the returnees identified as Mary said that it was a miracle she returned safely back to Nigeria as she was being sold like a piece of merchandise in Libya.
According to her, 'They were selling some of us like wood from one guard who will take us to some destination and again sell us to another who will now be our new owner. That will take us again to some distance and say his contract with us has expired and again sell us to another person.'
She added that 'if you complain, they will ask you if you don’t want to go to Europe again. My brother, e no easy', she laughed.