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Ordeal, experiences of Nigerian deportees from overseas

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Some Nigerian deportees from Libya alighting from the plane at Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos recently.  (Insert) Some African illegal migrants in a boat on the Mediterranean sea heading to Europe from southern Libya  PHOTO: CNN

Some Nigerian deportees from Libya alighting from the plane at Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos recently. (Insert) Some African illegal migrants in a boat on the Mediterranean sea heading to Europe from southern Libya PHOTO: CNN

The unquenchable desire by Nigerians to seek greener pastures abroad has been on the increase in recent times. To many, it is not deliberate but circumstantial, in the light of the poor state of the country’s economy, occasioned by poor management and leadership.

Despite the ill-human treatments and horrible experiences they usually encounter in their desperate bids to travel overseas, not many stranded Nigerians have been discouraged from the dangerous adventures.

Investigations reveal that even while they are there without necessary resident permits, they engage in all sorts of menial jobs for survival, at the mercy of the immigration officers. They are often humiliated, harassed, killed or deported. For years now, that has been the practice by so many countries of the world against illegal migrants, including Nigerians.

For most Nigerians desperate to travel to Europe through illegal means, Libya is their port of call. This is because of the strategic location of the country and its proximity to the European countries.

It will be recalled that before his demise in 2011, Moammar Gadhafi had warned that without a stable Libya, migration to Europe would become uncontrollable. From the events of today, it seems his prophecy has become a reality as the Libya’s post-war crisis has helped boost a lucrative people-smuggling business.

It will be recalled that before his demise in 2011, Moammar Gadhafi had warned that without a stable Libya, migration to Europe would become uncontrollable. From the events of today, it seems his prophecy has become a reality as the Libya’s post-war crisis has helped boost a lucrative people-smuggling business. While many of the illegal migrants died on their way to Libya, those who reach southern Libya are transported through the desert to northern beaches where they board boats bound for Europe. Many die on transit, while some are abandoned at Libya without any means of survival and necessary resident permit. Many are told they would reach Italy in a matter of hours, while the truth is that a trip to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the closest European territory to the North African coast, takes at least 40 hours in small boats that move along at 5 miles per hour

While many of the illegal migrants died on their way to Libya, those who reach southern Libya are transported through the desert to northern beaches where they board boats bound for Europe. Many die on transit, while some are abandoned at Libya without any means of survival and necessary resident permit. Many are told they would reach Italy in a matter of hours, while the truth is that a trip to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the closest European territory to the North African coast, takes at least 40 hours in small boats that move along at 5 miles per hour.

No wonder in March this year, Libyan government deported 172 Nigerians due to immigration related offences. The deportation came barely four months after about 76 Nigerians were deported from three European countries including United Kingdom.The deportees comprised 166 males and six females and were brought into the country on a chartered flight.

The deportees were received by various agencies such as the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) that checked their identities to ascertain their nationalities, the Police and National Agency for Protection and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

According to the NIS, the deportees were repatriated to the country for allegedly overstaying in Libya and for other immigration offences in the North African country.
Recently, 240 Nigerians stranded in Libya were repatriated back to the country. The returnees arrived in the country on Tuesday around 3.45pm, through the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and were received by the officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who assisted them with food and transport fares. They tell their stories of hardship to The Guardian……


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11 Comments
  • Mystic mallam

    But the President’s spin-master-in-chief assured us only last week that Nigerians are being accorded the highest respect abroad since Buhari came on board and charmed the world with his magic wand. Why are they deporting us in manacles?

    • Kekedu

      Because you’re there illegally, overstayed your welcome, visa expired. Got it?

      • Mystic mallam

        I agree with you Mr Kekedu, no one would respect illegals with none or expired visas no matter whom their President is, and Nigerians are no different. Please tell that to Alhaji Shehu Garba, PMB’s Chief Spin Master.

    • Apostel

      Would you respect illegal persons in Nigeria, just by the way, we even do not respect our next neighbor.

      • Mystic mallam

        You’re on point Mr Apostel, respect for foreigners in our midst, and our own nationals in other lands, is not a function of who their Presidents are, it is a function partly of how they respect themselves, and partly how they are respected in their countries of origin. So, Garba Shehu, was wrong when he claimed that Nigerians are respected abroad now unlike before simply because Buhari came to power. Nigerians abroad are not being respected now any more or less than they were under past administrations. Officials should stop lying to us whenever they are scrambling to point to achievements they have made.

        • Apostel

          It is not a matter of wich President rules in Nigeria it is the fold of the Nigerian population. People in foreign countries knows to read news papers and are more educated as the average Nigerian. They know exactly what is going on in Nigeria and they do not like such Nigerian parasites and social looters among them.

    • Okorobinako

      The ibo savages have really damaged the reputation of Nigeria overseas with their criminal tendencies.
      God bless the day these savages will have their biafrat.

      • Mystic mallam

        You’re right about the “ibo savages” my dear, they have seriously damaged Nigeria’s “reputation” overseas. That goes to warn you to not exclude any group, especially ones as smart and enterprising as the”ibo” in the scheme of the commonwealth. As for criminal tendencies, corruption is the worst form of criminality, at least, so says out President and I am sure you agree. So, take a look at PMB’s list of looters, skewed as it is at the moment. You still think the “ibo” are more criminally attuned than other tribes? Maybe, contrary to what you say, Nigeria had no “reputation” to protect overseas in the first place, think about it, especially in the light of what our President has been saying overseas. Or, do you think the President was talking about the “ibo” when he said Nigerians are criminally corrupt? I write to assist you with your bigotry, since you left the subject matter under discussion to go after the “ibo”.

        • Okorobinako

          You feeble attempt to be funny does not hold any water. I wont waste time trivializing serious issues as you wish to do.
          All over the world, people get the government they deserve. When Nigeria citizens embark on crimes in foreign countries which according to you is being smart and hard-working we still blame government.
          Nigerians are profiled at various international airports all over the world not because of Buhari/GEJ’s incompetence but due to our individual atrocities.
          It is not my duty to remind you of the havoc your people have caused to those who carry that Nigerian passport simply because according to you, they are smart and hard-working.
          Atimes I wonder what you people preach to your children.

          • Mystic mallam

            I like self righteous people, they judge others at a pins drop but never pause to self examine. I don’t have to tell you that am not “ibo or you people” as you denigrate them. I can assure you however that if you care to look in the mirror, look hard enough, you might see your true self, that beyond your hubris you were no better than the “ibos”

          • Okorobinako

            Thank you. Point noted.