Tale of woes as NEMA receives additional 175 Nigerian returnees from Libya

The National Emergency Management Agency said on Thursday that it had received another 175 Nigerian returnees from Libya through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, 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, Ibrahim Farinloye, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos that the returnees arrived at the airport at about 9:48pm 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.

Omoniyi said: “I will never advice 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.”

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 N120,000.

“I deceived my father that I wanted to establish a business and he gave me N800,000, 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 N2 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.

“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 had 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.”

NAN reports that 158 returnees had arrived from Libya five hours earlier than Azizat’s batch.

Farinloye said the fresh 175 returnees, including 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.

He added: “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.”

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