By Chinedu Eze
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has announced that it received fresh batch of 164 Nigerians who in their failed attempts to travel to Europe for greener pastures got stranded in Libya.
Receiving the Returnees, NEMA senior official, Ibrahim Farinloye on behalf of the Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of the Agency, Alhaji Idris Muhammed, implored the returnees to seize the fresh opportunity that they had in starting a positive and fruitful life within the abundant resources available in Nigeria, just as two traffickers among those that returned were identified by their victims and apprehended by officials of NAPTIP during the reception organised for the returnees by the federal government.
“There’s nothing bad in questing for improved and better living conditions in the world but the method and process in seeking greener pastures overseas are mostly wrong and entail avoidable risks.
“One will not appreciate the abundant resources God have endowed us with in Nigeria until you travel out.
“All of you have gone and fortunately come back alive and you are at the best position to tell the story to those still aspiring to embark on such journey. We understand that many of you were deceived with very juicy opportunities overseas and these are mostly your close relatives, you need to assist the government to stem the menace of trafficking by giving information to government agencies who are going to protect your identity and safety. The traffickers are not ghosts; you know them and you need to save other youths from falling victims,” he advised the returnees.
Farinloye also urged them to be champions of positive thinking among the youths against the urge that makes them believe that if you don’t travel out, you cannot make a meaningful life.
“There are more than enough for all of us to tap and make Nigeria greater,” he added.
The return of the Nigerians was facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with special funding by the European Union in an Assisted Voluntary Returnees programme that would end in April 2020.
The Returnees were brought back onboard of Chartered Al Burag Airline Boeing 737-800 flight number 89 with registration number 5A-DMG
They arrived Cargo Wing of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja at about 12:15 on Friday morning.
THISDAY learnt that the returnees consisted of 71 female adults, 17 female children and six female infants. There are also 55 male adults 13 male children and two male infants.
Amongst them were three returnees with medical cases and a pregnant woman who started having labour of childbirth upon arrival in Nigeria.
For political gains. Some of these same persons made these devious and fabricated claims ahead of the 2015 election. They failed woefully.
“The President strongly affirms the oath he took before the Nigerian people to faithfully defend the Constitution of Nigeria. That Constitution guarantees freedom of worships for every Nigerian. It is this guarantee that enables all Nigerians to practise their faiths or religion without hindrance.
“President Buhari further affirms his commitment to freedom of religion and worship for all Nigerians, and that under no circumstance will any religion or faith be imposed on any Nigerian. It is dangerous, deceptive and ungodly to play politics with religion,” he said.