Again, NEMA Receives 257 Returnees from Libya


Chiemelie Ezeobi

Another batch of 257 returnees were at the wee hours of Wednesday received in Lagos by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Amongst the returnees were four persons with different medical cases, which prompted the medical team on ground to attend to them first before whisking them away to the hospital.

The returnees were repatriated back to the country with the assistance of IOM and European Union, who provided logistics support.

The Southwest Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alh. Suleiman Yakubu who represented the DG, Engr. Mustapha Maihajja received the returnees on behalf of Federal Government.

The DG appealed to the returnees that the Federal Government is working with state government to ensure that they are well taken care off.

He said that the previous returnees that were received and accommodated in befitting hotels at strategic locations because of their dignity and personal safety in accordance with international best practices.

Agencies that supported NEMA are NAPTIP, FAAN, the police and Refugee Commission.

The breakdown of the returnees are 65 female adults and five female infants and five children while 179 male adults, two male kids and one male infant made up the total of 257 returnees including the four medical cases.

One of the returnees who spoke on anonymity expressed regret for allowing herself to be trafficked to Libya.

She explained that they (migrants) had to drink fuel given to them by the driver when they were feeling hungry at the desert.

She further said that before then, they had seen a shallow well and out of joy rushed there to drink the water.

She said it was later they found out that there were decomposing human bodies inside the well. Notwithstanding these challenges, she said they successfully got to Libya.

Given that their destination was France, she said they would have reached there as they were prepared with their life jackets and other things needed to cross over to Europe, until rival attacks between two fishermen who were to cross them broke out.

She said there was an exchange of fire between these groups, which drew the attention of NGOs who came over to dislodge the rival groups and the migrants were taken to camp where they were taken care of before being brought back to Nigeria.

She promised that she would never venture into ideal travel by road, adding that she would still go when she finished learning handiwork.