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11 pregnant women, 130 others return from Libya

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

No fewer than 141 Nigerians, including 11 pregnant women, have voluntarily returned from Libya to Nigeria with the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU).

Mr. Segun Afolayan, Chief Planning Officer, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos.

Afolayan said the Nigerians arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, at about 10:45p.m. on Tuesday aboard a chartered Al-Buraq aircraft with registration number UZ189.

He said: “After profiling, we have 71 female adults, three female children and three female infants. Also, there were 53 male adults, six male children and five male infants; among them were two medical cases and 11 pregnant women.”

According to him, majority of the returnees are from Tripoli, the capital of Libya, which has become volatile in recent times. Afolayan advised the returnees to become more focused in life and not allow the unfortunate experience to negatively impact on their lives.

“Truly, you had bad experiences differently, collectively and individually but these should be the motivation for you to make positive decision to see the brighter future ahead of you. This is because, no one can tell the story more than you and making better use of your lives are essential.

“The Federal Government is urging you to be ambassadors of positive change by taking the anti-irregular migration campaign to those still aspiring to take the dangerous journey. You can talk to them in the language they will understand most,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, a 29-year-old returnee from Libya has described her irregular migration journey to the North African country as stressful, tiring and unproductive.

Aminat Sunday, who is one of the 149 stranded Nigerians who recently returned from Libya told newsmen in Lagos that she worked as a maid during her stay in Libya.

She said she was lured to the country due to family burdens and persuasion from her trafficker.

Sunday, who hails from Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, said she regretted embarking on the journey as she had a very difficult experience in Libya.

According to her, she paid her trafficker with her full year wages after arriving in Libya. “I was working as a housemaid cleaning tiles but the work made me to come back home because it is very stressful, tiring and have serious health problems on my body. To be sincere, Nigeria is far better than Libya, I have learned my lessons in the wrong way but thank God I am still alive,” Sunday said.

She advised other youths to learn from her experience and shun the urge of irregular migration in search of greener pastures.

Receiving Sunday alongside the other returnees, Ibrahim Farinloye, spokesperson for NEMA, South West Zone, said the majority of the returnees came back from Tripoli.

Farinloye said they comprised of 81 adult males, 56 adult females, two male children, eight male infants, one female child and two female infants.

The International Organisation for Migration said it has helped over 10,000 Nigerian migrants return from Libya over the past 12 months.

According to the Migrant Project, hundreds of Nigerians are stuck and experiencing inhuman conditions in Libya and other African countries in an attempt to travel to Europe through irregular routes.

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