The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, on Monday received another batch of 136 stranded Nigerians from Libya.
They were received by the Co-ordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of NEMA, Alhaji Idris Abubakar Muhammad, at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja at about 11:50 p.m.
The returnees who were brought back by International Organisation for Migration, IOM, aboard a chartered flight of Al Buraq Air with flight number UZ 189/15 and registration number DMG MJI consisted of 59 adult females, four female children and five female infants with 63 adult males, 2 male children and 3 infant males.
The European Union is supporting IOM in the reintegration exercise with funds on arrival in Nigeria.
Other agencies supporting NEMA in the exercise are the National Refugee Commission, NAPTIP, the Immigration Service, the Nigeria Police and FAAN.
A returnee, Mr Kehinde Fatukasi, 42, from Ekiti State who left Nigeria in 2016 narrated his bitter experience while in Libya with his family – a wife and his six years old son, Olusanya Fatukasi .
He explained that his wife escaped back to Nigeria while he and his son were sold out as slaves.
He said he was oblivion of what was awaiting him where he was sold to until someone drew his attention to the dangers they were in, telling that they were being kept as very dangerous and would be resold to people who would remove parts of their bodies for sale.
He said it was the information that he got that made him and his son to find their ways out of the camp.
“I was there with my wife who had returned back to Nigeria; I believe she would have thought that we are dead.
“The Arabs treated us like slaves, you work without being paid and so many of us were killed. We were made to watch the killings. We have seen what is more than hell.
“The Libyans don’t care if you are black or not, the treatment given to us (blacks) is same they give to their Arab neighbours from Tunisia or Algeria.
“Once, they need someone to work, those chosen must follow them. Refusal would lead to instant death.
“Those of us who decided to stay in Libya instead of crossing the Mediterranean sea did not suffer like those who intended crossing the Mediterranean sea. The Libyan law bans crossing the sea and those caught in the high sea trying to cross to Europe have hellish experiences with worst manhandling in the hands of both Libyan and Europeans officials,” he narrated.
On what he intended to do upon returning to Nigeria, Mr Fatukasi said “I will embark on irrigation farming, Libyans are great farmers despite the fact that their country is in the desert. I came back to Nigeria with irrigation tools like water sprinkler which will aid me to start afresh.
“I will work very hard to see that my son gets a very good education and give my wife a good life to enjoy our marriage.”
He stated further: “If I had had adequate information about the lies of better life outside, I would not have tried to leave Nigeria. I wanted to travel to Germany, a friend assured me of better life but immediately we got to Niger Republic I began to regret my decision. I didn’t know that what I experienced in the desert was just a child’s play.
“Nigerians must be patient and struggle to make better use of resources available here, I pray the youths won’t rely on lies and deceit of better lives outside Nigeria.
“I really regret my sojourn and the risk I made my family to pass through.
“However, I thank God for His grace and mercy in aiding our return back to Nigeria though with bitter experiences that will spur us towards a better life.”