By Odinta Oluma Christiana
It was an endless story, yesterday, when 161 stranded Nigerians were deported from Libya.
The deportees comprising of 78 female adults and 2 female infants , 71 male adults, 5 male children and 5 male infants including two medical cases arrived Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at about 7:37 pm in an aircraft, Boeing 737-800 with Registration number 5A-DMG.
They were received by the Southwest Zonal Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency NEMA , Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu represented by the DG, Engr. Mustapha Maihajja on behalf of Federal Government.
The Southwest Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alh. Suleiman Yakubu who represented the DG, Engr. Mustapha Maihajja received the Returnees on behalf of Federal Government.
The DG appealed to the Returnees that Federal Government is working with state government to ensure that Returnees are well taken care off.
He said that the previous returnees were received and accommodated in befitting hotels at strategic locations because of their dignity and personal safety in international best practices.
Agencies that supported NEMA were NAPTIP, FAAN, Nigeria Police and Refugee Commission One of the returnees Patience Ubosa 21,who was brought up in Benin but her parents are from Akwa Ibom, narrated her ordeal that since her mother died, the father married another wife and her father pays attention on her half sister.
She decided to join her sister in France with her husband, the sister financed her journey by land because she couldn’t wait till December when her sister will come to France by air.
She lamented that on her way to Libya, she explained that they (migrants) had to drink fuel given to them by the driver when they were feeling hungry on the desert.
She further said that they saw a shallow well and rushed there to drink water but later found out that there were decomposing human bodies who successfully got to Libya.
She would have reached her destination because they had bought life jackets and other things that were needed to cross over to Europe until rival attacks between two fisher men who were to cross them broke out.
The exchange of fire between these groups drew the attention of non governmental organisations who came over to dislodge the rival groups and the migrants were taken to camp where they were taken care of before being returned to Nigeria.
She promised that she would never venture into ideal travel by road, but to go after completing apprenticeship in handiwork.