Stranded Nigerians from Libya numbering 136 arrived the cargo section of the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA), Lagos, at 11:50 pm.
They were received by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office, Alhaji Idris Abubakar Muhammad on behalf of Federal Government along with other national agencies.
The deportees, who were brought back by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) aboard a chartered flight of Al Buraq Air with flight number UZ 189/15 and registration number DMG. MJI consisted of 59 adult females, 4 female children and 5 female infants with 63 adult males, 2 male children and 3 infant males.
The EU is supporting IOM in the reintegration exercise with funds on arrival in Nigeria.
Other agencies that supported NEMA are the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Refugee Commission, NAPTIP, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Nigeria Police.
A returnee, Mr Kehinde Fatukasi aged 42 years from Ekiti State, who left Nigeria in 2016 narrated his bitter ordeal while in Libya with his family; a wife and his 6 years old son, Olusanya Fatukasi .
He explained that his wife escaped back to Nigeria while he and his son were sold out as slaves.
He said he was not aware of what await him where he was sold until someone told him that he would be resold for live threatening merchandise where part of their bodies could be harvested and sold.
He said it was this information that made him and his son escaped from the ghetto (camp).
According to him, “I was there with my wife who had returned back to Nigeria, I believe she would have thought that we are dead. The Arabs treated us like slaves, you work without being paid and so many of us were killed while watching the killings. All of us here dont fear death, we have seen what is more than hell. Libyans don’t care if you are black or not, the treatment given to us (blacks) is same they give to their Arab neighbours from Tunisia or Algeria.”
He continued, “Once, they need someone to work and those chosen must follow them any refusal not to follow would be to kill that person instantly. Those of us who decided to stay in Libya instead of crossing tge Mediterranean sea did not suffer like those who intended crossing the Mediterranean sea, the Libyan law ban crossing by sea and those caught in the high sea trying to cross to Europe have hellish experiences with worst manhandling in the hands of both Libyan and Europeans officials.”
On what he intended to do now that he is in Nigeria, Fatukasi said, “I will embark on irrigation farming, Libyans are great farmers despite the fact that their country is in desert, I came back to Nigeria with irrigation tools like water sprinkler which will aid me to start afresh. I will work very hard to see that my son gets a very good education and give my wife a restful life to enjoy our marriage”
If I had had adequate information about the lies of better life outside, I would not have tried to leave Nigeria I wanted to travel to Germany a friend assured me of better life but immediately we got to Niger Republic I began to regret my decision, and I didn’t know that what I experienced in the desert was just a child play,” he added
“Nigerian must be patient and struggle to make better use of resources available here, I pray the youths wont rely on lies and deceit of better lives outside Nigeria ”
I really regretted my sojourn and the risks I made my family to pass through. However, I thank God for His grace and mercy in aiding our return back to Nigeria though with bitter experiences that would spur towards better,” he said