Tale of woes as NEMA receives additional 175 Nigerian returnees from Libya
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said on Thursday that it had received another 175 Nigerian returnees from Libya through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA), Lagos.
The returnees are 92 male adults, 53 female adults, six male children, 12 female children nine male infants and three female infants.
Acting Coordinator of NEMA’s Lagos Territorial Office, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that they arrived at the airport at about 9.48 p.m. on Wednesday.
One of the returnees, Azizat Omoniyi, 21, from Lagos State who abandoned her education when she was 17 years old, expressed regret at her misbehaviour, especially for wasting her father’s hard-earned money.
“I will never advise anyone to think of travelling out of this country aimlessly.
“We don’t appreciate what we have until it is lost. Anyone thinking of travelling without set and achievable objectives should forget it,” she said.
Azizat said her mother died while she was at a tender age and was being catered for by maternal relations, but she felt she was being maltreated and ran away to be with her father.
“From my father’s custody, a friend convinced me to meet her in Ibadan where I was introduced to the idea of travelling to Libya where I was told that I could work and receive a monthly salary of ₦120,000.
“I deceived my father that I wanted to establish a business and he gave me ₦800,000, but I used it for the Libyan trip through the desert.
“I became a slave and prostitute in Libya; I am not lying, I raised equivalent of ₦2 million as a prostitute to free myself from my trafficker.
“I want to go back to school. I stopped schooling at SS2 and have learnt my lessons,’’ she lamented.
“The lessons are very, very bitter, I wasted my life.
“I do not know my father’s location. I lost everything that I thought I could bring back home when the police raided our house and threw all of us into prison.
“We were dispossessed of our savings and property. I lost the phone in which l had my father’s contact.
“I have to wait till my transport allowance is paid before I can buy phone and try to gamble with numbers to know if I can get my father’s contact,” a remorseful Azizat said.
NAN reports that 158 returnees had arrived from Libya five hours earlier than Azizat’s batch.
Farinloye said the fresh 175 returnees, which included Azizat, had been stranded in Libya.
They departed from Mitiga International Airport, Tripoli, aboard a chartered Boeing 737-400 with registration number 5A-WAC.
He said they were received at the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company wing of the MMA.
“The returnees were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration through a voluntary repatriation programme for distressed persons.
“The EU sponsored the repatriation of the stranded Nigerians who had failed in their attempt to search for greener pastures outside Nigeria,” he said.