161 Nigerian immigrants return voluntarily from Libya

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No fewer than 161 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya on Tuesday aboard a chartered Nouvelair aircraft marked TS-1NB.

The returnees arrived at the cargo terminal of the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport about 3.55pm.

The returnees who were made up of 40 males, 103 females, nine children and nine infants were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

They were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.

Also on the ground to receive them were officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

It was gathered that three of the returnees needed medical attention with one of them, Miss Loveth Omorodion, arriving in the country with a fractured leg.

The returnees were each given a stipend of N19, 695 to facilitate their transportation to their respective states.

Addressing newsmen, Mr. Nahashon Thuo, head of sub-office, IOM, Lagos, said the returnees indicated interest to return to Nigeria due to the harsh living condition in Libya.

He said, “Our role is to facilitate their safe return to Nigeria. We provided them with travel documents, clothes and a little stipend to enable them reunite with their families.

Also speaking, the director general of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sidi, said their return was prompted by a recent viral video showing some Nigerians being brutalised in Libya.

He said: “When we saw the video, we immediately contacted our partners and sent it to IOM to help us clarify it.

“So what you are witnessing today is the effort of IOM who got in touch with the people over there and the returnees you are seeing today are Nigerians who have shown interest to return voluntarily.

Sidi, who was represented by Dr Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA advised Nigerians to stay in the country and develop it together.

On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora,   Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the government remains committed to the welfare of Nigerians all over the world.

Represented by her Special Assistant, Mr. Abdulraman Balogun, she advised Nigerians abroad to be worthy ambassadors of the country.

She said the government had put a programme in place to rehabilitate Nigerians who volunteered to return from Libya in order to reintegrate them into the society.

Omorodion, who hails from Edo State, said in an interview that her legs were fractured by some criminals in Libya who attacked her where she was staying with other Nigerians.

“I have been in Libya for two years and was doing cleaning job. I left Nigeria after finishing secondary school because of the bad economy.

“The Libya people treated us very bad and that is why I decided to come back home, ” she said

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