We regret going to Libya, say returnees
As about 2000 young Nigerian returnees are currently being taught self-employment skills nationally, some beneficiaries in Ijebu-Ode on Tuesday regretted their decision to travel to Libya.
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMI) had last Monday flagged-off a Five-day skills acquisition training programme for returnees from across the six geo-political zones of the federation.
Some of the returnees told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the training programme in phone repairs and soap production that they regretted travelling to Libya.
They lamented that they were disappointed at the level of hostility and discrimination they received from the Libyans, adding that Libya eventually became a place of false hope to them.
Adenike Olanipekun said that the economy was what forced her to travel to Libya two years ago, only to end up in a Libyan prison, before her assisted return to Nigeria.
Olanipekun said like other thousands still currently on Libyan streets and prisons, she was openly discriminated against and denied interaction with other Nigerian brothers and sisters.
She commended the Ogun State government for swiftly coming to their aid when they were arrested in Libya and forced to return to Nigeria.
Olanipekun, who commended the NCRMI for involving her in phone repairs said that the training had made her know that there was no place like one’s country.
“We really suffered in Libya, I must confess. We were deceived to believe that life in Libya was rosy. I still regret what me to go to Libya.
“Well, I am happy to be part of this training. After this training, I can set up my phone repairs business and go back to school. I can never go back to Libya again,’’ she said.
Another Libyan returnee, Ogunaike Adewale, also decried the ill-treatment and denial he and other young Nigerians received from the Libyans, adding that he had travelled to Libya to make money.
Adewale, who said that he had unforgettable experiences, appealed to young Nigerians planning to travel to Libya to remain in their country.
“I do not want any other young Nigerian to think or plan to travel to Libya, but to think of what they can be doing in Nigeria.
“If I had had this training opportunity that the NCRMI is now giving us, I should not have bothered travelling to Libya,’’ he said.
Saidi Adebayo, another returnee, said that he had travelled to Libya with the hope of making money, but was disappointed by the harsh and unfriendly disposition of Libyans toward Nigerians.
Adebayo, who said that there were still many young Nigerians roaming Libyan streets and in prisons, swore never to go back to Libya.
He said that they were treated badly by the Libyans, to the extent of being forced to change their Christian names to Muslim names, and were not allowed to greet other Nigerians on the streets.