FG Rescues Batch of 144 Nigerians from Libya

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Chinedu Eze

The federal government on Tuesday rescued another batch of Nigerians from Libya where most of them were sold as slaves and subjected to gruesome torture.

The number of Nigerians that arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos was 144, made up of six infants, two children, 97 males and 39 females.

They were airlifted to Nigeria by Boeing B737-800 aircraft with registration number 5A-DMG hired by the International Organisation for Migration (IMO) landed at the Cargo Terminal of the Lagos airport with passengers who looked gory but glad they were home, after a tortuous journey aimed at crossing to Europe that was aborted.

The story is now rife how many Nigerians lost their lives in the bid to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe, but those who arrived yesterday hid their faces, especially the women, as the mothers among them held strong to their babies, seemingly glad they came back safely.

The batch of 144 is the second airlift in less than one week facilitated by the federal government, according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as 150 Nigerians were returned to the country last Thursday.

Many of the returnees looked gaunt and weather beaten but some of them were able to put up a smile, heaving a sigh of relief that they were finally back to their country.

On ground to welcome the returnees were officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Police.