Another 175 Nigerians flee Libya, return home

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By Adekunle Williams and Solomon Asowata

Another batch of One Hundred and Seventy-five (175) Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya on Tuesday aboard a chartered Nouvelair aircraft with registration number TS-INA.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the aircraft landed at 7.50p.m at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The returnees were made up of of 34 males, 122 females, 10 children and nine infants.

They were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

The returnees were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.

Also on ground to receive them were officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Addressing newsmen, Air Commodore Paul Ohemu, Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, said the agency in collaboration with the IOM was working to stem irregular migration and return stranded Nigerians from Libya.

Ohemu advised Nigerians to stay back and contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of the country.

“There are a lot of things you can do in Nigeria here.

“You don’t have to travel outside the country in search of greener pastures.

“My advice to parents is to keep tab on their children and to ensure that they know where their children are going and not to be deceived by phantom promises,” he said.

Ohemu said NEMA and some state governments had put various schemes in place to help rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees into the society.

Also speaking, Mr Joseph Famakinwa, Zonal Director, NAPTIP, Lagos Zone, said the Federal Government had intensified efforts to curb human trafficking and bring traffickers to book.

“NAPTIP has sent 315 Nigerians to prison for human trafficking with a total conviction of 265.

“Our advice to parents is that they should not allow their children to fall into the hands of traffickers, ” he warned.

On her part, Ms Julia Burpee, Public Information Officer, IOM, said the organisation had facilated the return of over 1,170 Nigerians from Libya since February.

She said the organisation would assist the returnees to get back on their feet and would provide assistance to others willing to leave the North African country.

In April over 250 Nigerians also returned from Libya.