The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received another batch of 128 stranded Nigerian returnees from Libya.
The Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, who was represented by the NEMA Lagos Territorial Office Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye, received the Voluntary Assisted Returnees at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja on Tuesday evening.
The IOM-assisted returnees arrived aboard Al Buraq Air Boeing 100 – 800 with registration number 5A-DMG.
Profiles of the returnees indicated that 80 adult males, 8 male children, and 2 male infants along with 30 adult females, 4 female children, and 4 female infants, were voluntarily assisted back to the country by the IOM.
A 29 years old distressed young woman, while narrating her ordeals, regretted how she had been misled by her mother to embark on a fruitless journey.
Miss Tosin Omole alleged that her mother was approached by a street sister who sweet-talked her into convincing her daughter to embark on the journey to Europe, but the final destination changed.
The unsuspecting victim obeyed her mother by embarking on the journey after pressures became unbearable; she left her three-month-old son behind in the care of her mum.
According to her, the child is bout 6 years old now.
Ms Omole narrated how the proposed journey to Europe became a hellish life of prostitution in Libya.
“My trafficker paid for the journey from Nigeria to Libya which started on 26th February 2016.
“Before leaving Nigeria, my trafficker had informed me that I will refund the money spent on me for the journey though she did not tell me the amount.
“I ended up paying her 2.2 million naira equivalent by engaging in aristo (prostitution) throughout my 6 years’ sojourn.
“After this, my initial trafficker sold me to another burga (trafficker), I paid 1 million to the new man, all the payment is through prostitution.
“Coming to Nigeria now with only 200,000 naira that I squeezed to save, I don’t want to see my mother till I have enough,” Ms Omole narrated.
When asked why would she be angry to the extent of avoiding meeting her son upon her return to Nigeria, she burst into tears, weeping bitterly.
‘My Experience Was Horrific’
In another case, Ms Blessing Muhammad, who believed that her mother did her a great favour for spurring her to embark on the journey to Europe, said every mother will be happy when her child is about to travel to greener pastures.
“My mum bought clothes and make-over stuff for me when I was travelling,” she narrated.
“A popular big sister at Akungba approached my mother and convinced that she would help me travel to Europe with the promise that I will be doing my hairdressing work or I can be doing housemaid to be able to raise money and support my mother and siblings.
“My mother has not been feeling well and she needs support; I was second to the last born in the family. My elder siblings cannot be supportive because of their economic status.
“My journey through the desert was horrific; I was to be buried, the grave had been dug and just as I was about to be thrown into the grave, I miraculously showed signs of life as I was told, I came back to life. I left Nigeria on the 3rd of January, 2016 and the cold was at its peak at the time; I died and resurrected; that was what I can say
“What I experienced in the desert was a child’s play compared to the inhuman treatment meted out to me by my burga (trafficker) who happens to be from my town and same street.
“Despite the fact that I fell ill as a result of the harsh weather in the desert, my trafficker forced me to be ‘dis-virgined’ on the day I entered Libya by fixing me up with a client.
“To God, I used my body (prostitution) to pay my trafficker a total sum of 4.5 million naira.
“The worst part of my experience was the mental instability I found myself in; this was due to various trauma I passed through in the hands of my trafficker.
“My trafficker took nine of us out of Akungba; presently I am the only one returning due to my health. Though I thank God that I am recuperating fast but I have to return to Nigeria in order not to relapse.
“Any time I shout out of anxiety or anger, the mental illness will resurface.
“I cannot ask my enemies to embark on any journey out Nigeria to seek for any non-existing job at all.
“Our people are our enemies; they deceive us to leave Nigeria,” Ms Blessing Muhammed bitterly recounted.
Other agencies at the reception of the returnees included the Nigerian Immigration Service, Federal Ministry of Health, NAPTIP, FAAN, and the Nigeria Police Force.