A Nigerian deportee from Libya has called on the federal government to fix the economy and provide jobs for the youths so as to stop them from attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
The returnee who identified himself as Osarumwense was among the third batch of 171—76 males and 95 females—Nigerians who were deported from Libya.
Speaking on arrival at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, aboard a chartered aircraft marked TNSIB (UZ/89/190, Osaumwense blamed the travail of the deportees on the collapse of the Nigerian economy and government’s in ability to fix it.
“I have an OND in textile technology. I was doing well in one of the textile firms in Lagos but when the insdutry shut down its operations, hundreds of people, including me lost their jobs. That was the beginning of my journey to Libya. When I arrived in Libya, I was having a good time, but when crisis erupted in that country, many of us Nigerians became the target.
“Most of us who arrive here today were doing well untill the beginning of hostilities in Libya. There are professional electricians, hairdressers, plumbers, refrigerator technicians, you name them. I’m sure if our home environment was conducive, the idea of taking the dangerous jouney across the desert would not have occurred in the first place.
“It is therefore the responsiblity of the federal government to stop the drift by fixing the economy. Afterall, Nigeria and Libya are oil producing countries. So, why should we be slaves in a country that ordinarily we are better than if things were done properly,” he said.
Addressing newsmen after profiling the deportees, the commissioner, National Commission for Refugees (NCR), Hajia Sadiat Umar-Farouk said all the deportees were not illegal immigrants.
She said some of them had valid papers but were deported after a frame up by their host country’s militias.
However, she advised the women among them to shun “this dangerous journey across the dessert in search of greener pasture”.
“The grass is actually not as green on the other side as the youths imagine. They should stay back here; some of these returnees already have skills they learnt here in Nigeria. They can stay back here and practice their trade. They can make it here. It is these same skills they practice in the country they are migrating to,” she said.
Umar-Farouk said NCR “is always in constant touch with the international refugee agency to assist any Nigeria in distress abroad and to assist them to return back to Nigeria as the current 171 Nigerians were assisted back by the commission.”