Nigerian returnees arrive Port Harcourt from Libya

Nigeria evacuates 493 citizens from Libya

Nigeria evacuates 493 citizens from Libya

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, had on January 5 led a delegation on fact finding mission to Libya to secure the release of Nigerian migrants stranded in that country.

The NAPTIP Director General said the agency would profile the returnees to identify those who were real victims of trafficking. As you know, Mr. President and the people of Nigeria are very anxious and concerned about your well-being, and the President sent a delegation which I led to Libya where many of you are being held in very hard inhuman condition.

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Mr. Muhammad Babandede, has disclosed that 16,387 Nigerians were deported from Libya, Saudi Arabia and other countries in 2017.

All the returnees will be temporarily camped at a Reception Centre in Port Harcourt pending formal transfer to their states. "I have suffered so much in the last few months after I left my great country of Nigeria", a migrant waiting to fly back home said, warning others not to make the same mistake he made.

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"With all the necessary resources at our disposal, he said we should go to Libya and do everything possible to bring you back as quickly as possible".

He said Nigerians who were residing in Libya legally complained of harassment by Libyan Government officials who they said destroyed their passports and other residency papers.

"We saw the very hard conditions in which you were held, we felt for you for the very traumatic experience you went through and our hearts really went out to you and I must say that each an every one of us at that delegation really felt so proud of you".

"We know that many if you were trafficked many of you taken against your better judgement, you have come home and you will not be abandoned". I want to state that in 2017 alone we have received in our country from Libya, we have received 5,908 deportees till previous year, so if you add the one for yesterday, we received 485 from Libya. I was accompanied on the journey by the Director-General of NEMA, Federal Commissioner for Refugees and the Special Adviser to the President on Foreign Affairs, among others.

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Speaking at the reception for the returnees, the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Sir Kenneth Kobani stated that the programme was strictly a programme of the Federal Government.

The Federal Government has disclosed that 545 Nigerian migrants will be repatriated from Libya today. We are using Max Air and Medview Airlines with a target of completing the process in three weeks.

"We don't want everyone to think that every Nigerian in Libya is in slave camps, or that every Nigerian in Libya is being exploited".

He said: "As a state government, we had no choice really".

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