In less than 24 hours after 180 Nigerian stranded in Libya were brought back to Nigeria, another set of 132 others have arrived.
They were received by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The returnees included 58 adult females – two female children and four female infants.
Also included are 59 male adults, five male children and six male infants.
They made up a total of 64 females and 68 males.
The returnees arrived the Cargo Wing of MMIA ikeja aboard Buraq Air flight number 289/02 with registration number 5A-DMG which took off from Benghazi Airport in Libya with the returnees assembled in four major cities of Alkrarim Dc, Misursta, Benghazi city centre and Ghanfoda Dc.
They arrived Nigeria at 7.20 p.m.
The stranded Nigerians were assisted back to Nigeria through the humanitarian efforts of IOM and special funding from EU for reintegration process for the voluntary returnees after their futile attempts to cross over to Europe through Libya.
The Coordinator, NEMA, Lagos Territorial Office, Alhaji Idris Muhammed, who received the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government, from the EU Ambassador in Nigeria, thanked the EU and IOM and assured them of government’s readiness to partner and cooperate with all development partners in creating a conducive environment where every Nigerians would be able to fend for themselves to reduce the urge in embarking on irregular migrations.
He also assured the EU and IOM that the support and cooperation being enjoyed at the federal, states and local government levels would continue.
The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, witnessed the 65th flight since the commencement of the EU assisted special intervention.
The number of Assisted Voluntary Returnees has increased to 12,974 with the latest returnees.
In a brief press briefing, the EU Ambassador stated that migration should be aspiration but not desperation.
He said migration, mobility and curiosity to know new places were as old as human kind itself and were natural.
He, however, cautioned that what was not natural was the kind of irregular migrations that led to wrong purposes and put people’s lives at risk.
He praised all the national and international partners who had been participating in the success story of the exercise.
He lauded the excellent tasks of IOM in the process of identifying, locating, mobilising and convincing the stranded Nigerians to voluntarily return home.
He further praised the UN Migration Agency for initiating the reintegration attractions like the start-up capitals, vocational training and other services that had added value to the lives of the returnees.
The ambassador observed that the root causes of irregular migrations must be addressed.
He said: “We wish to create awareness on the risks that potential migrants are likely going to face if they embark on irregular journey.”