No fewer than 31 persons trafficked mostly from Katsina and Zamfara states, through Benin Republic, and taken to Burkina Faso, have safely been returned home.
Out of the 31 victims, the return of seven was facilitated by the Nigerian embassy in Burkina Faso while the Katsina State Government assisted the return of the remaining 24.
While receiving the returnees at his residence, Governor Aminu Masari told journalists that the state government had cut down bureaucratic processes to the lowest level to facilitate their safe return at little cost.
The stranded Nigerians were assisted back to the country through the humanitarian efforts of the International Organisation for Migration and special funding from the European Union for the reintegration process.
While receiving the returnees from Ketil Karlsen, the EU Ambassador in Nigeria, Mohammed assured the EU and IOM of the Federal Government’s readiness to partner and cooperate with all development partners in creating a conducive environment where every Nigerians will be able to fend for themselves to reduce the urge in embarking in irregular migrations.
The NEMA boss also reiterated the govt’s commitment to giving all necessary supports needed by the International partners.
On his part, Ambassador Karlsen advised Nigerians against desperation, stressing that their quest for better opportunities should be borne from aspiration.
He, however, regretted the spate of irregular migrations, warning that it could put people’s lives at risk.
He praised all the national and international partners who have been participating in the success story of the exercise.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has received a fresh batch of returnees from Libya.
The NEMA Coordinator in Lagos, Idris Muhammed, told journalists that the returnees numbering 326 arrived the cargo wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport on Thursday evening in two batches.
According to him, the first flight arrived the country with 143 returnees aboard Al Buraq Air Boeing 737-800 at about 10:20pm on Thursday.
The NEMA boss stated that the second flight arrived with Nouvelair Air flight UZ 175 landed with 183 returnees aboard.
The repatriated Nigerians were brought back by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through its Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) initiative funded by the European Union for the reintegration of returnees back into their community.
Giving a breakdown of figures, Muhammad explained that the returnees comprise 291 adults, 8 children and 27 infants.
A fresh batch of 164 Nigerians stranded in Libya have returned to the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.
The returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos at about 12:15 on Friday.
They were received by Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, on behalf of the coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of the agency, Idris Muhammed.
Shortly after their arrival, officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) apprehended two suspected human traffickers.
The suspects were arrested after they were identified by their victims during an event organised to receive the returnees.
Addressing the returnees, Farinloye urged them to seize the opportunity they have to start a positive and fruitful life in the country.
According to him, there is nothing wrong in seeking greener overseas but the methods applied are mostly inappropriate and entail avoidable risks.
“One will not appreciate the abundant resources God has endowed us with until you travel out. All of you have gone and fortunately come back alive and you are in the best position to tell the story to those still aspiring to embark on such a journey,” the NEMA official told the returnees.
He added, “We understand that many of you were deceived with very juicy opportunities overseas and these are mostly your close relatives; you need to assist the government to stem the menace of trafficking by giving information to government agencies who are going to protect your identity and safety.”
Farinloye also asked the returnees to be champions of positive thinking among the youths that they don’t have to go overseas before living a meaningful life.
After profiling, it was revealed that the returnees comprised 71 female adults, 17 female children, and six female infants, as well as 55 male adults, 13 male children, and two male infants.
Amongst them were three returnees with medical cases and a pregnant woman who started having a labour of childbirth upon her arrival in Nigeria.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) facilitated their return with special funding by the European Union, in a programme that would end in April 2020.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has received a fresh batch of returnees from Libya.
The 160 returnees consisting of 74 females and 86 males (both adults and children), were received by the Coordinator, Lagos Territorial Office of NEMA, Idris Muhammed, at the Cargo Wing of MMIA, Ikeja Lagos on Thursday.
They were brought back by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as part of EU’s special intervention on Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) Programme.
While receiving them, the Coordinator implored other Nigerians still aspiring to travel out of the country to desist from irregular migration.
According to him, they expose themselves to inhumane conditions which could otherwise be avoided.
A returnee, Mrs Adebisi Komolafe, an indigene of Osun State narrating her ordeal said if she had an idea of how bad the experience would be, she wouldn’t have taken the chance.
She, however, called on Nigerians to keep praying for the leaders, saying that if God guides the leaders right, things may not be so bad in the country.
“Nigerians need to keep praying fervently for our leaders.
“Despite the bad situations in Libya, the people believe in their leaders and are praying fervently for them. They still see hope in their country”.
“If Nigerians can avoid blaming Government for everything, with faith and sincerity our prayers will be accepted by God.
“God will guide our leaders right if we direct our supplications to Almighty God to guide our leaders right.”
“I don’t wish any Nigerian should think of travelling to Libya, I never knew the situation in Libya before I left, if I had known, I wouldn’t have travelled there,” Komolafe said, adding “Nigeria is far better than that country”.
According to her, since she travelled in 2016, she worked as a maid but despite making some money, she could not send anything back home to her family in Nigeria.
“The only thing I did was to buy goods that I can sell when I get back to Nigeria and I brought everything back now,” she said.
Another returnee, Aisha Ibrahim from Oyo State, also said she regretted her ordeal.
According to her, her sister introduced her to the idea of travelling while convincing her that there were several opportunities in Libya to earn money.
She said, “My sister paid for my transportation and after a week on arrival in Libya, I got a housemaid work.
“You must work and carry out any instructions given by those people. You must do whatever directives given. Failure to comply obey them will attract still punishment or arrest.
“At times, I will not come back to my sister’s house for 3 or six months.
“In Libya, you don’t have freedom, once they hear you are a Nigerian, trouble starts. They don’t like us, you cannot change work.
“If you have travelling documents and you are caught, those documents will not be returned to you and you will be arrested.
“They can raid your house and cart away all your savings and property”.
According to her, she worked for six months without break and when she wanted to visit her sister, she was arrested and all her money was taken from her.
She explained that she wasn’t released until about N400,000 was paid by her sister.
Thereafter, she started making efforts to return home.
“Libya is far better than Nigeria” Ibrahim said, advising anyone making plans to travel illegally to desist from such.
193 more Nigerians stranded in Libya have returned to the country.
The returnees arrived aboard a chartered Tunisia airline which touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos around 8:32 pm on Thursday.
This was disclosed in a statement issued by the acting Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Segun Afolayan.
According to him, their return was made possible through the efforts of the agency in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The returnees consist of 96 female and 97 male including infants and children.
While welcoming them, the new South West Commander of National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr Atokolo Daniel, asked the returnees to join the fight against human trafficking.
He also asked them to disclose the identities of all those involved in the trafficking and smuggling of Nigerians.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it has received a fresh batch of 141 stranded Nigerians from Libya.
In a statement on Wednesday by the south-west zonal spokesman for the agency, Mr Farinloye Ibrahim, the returnees were assisted back to the country by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the European Union.
NEMA’s Chief Planning Officer, Mr Segun Afolayan, welcomed the citizens back into the country, urging them not to allow the unfortunate experiences to negatively impact their lives.
Receiving the Nigerians who were mostly from City Centre of Tripoli, the capital of Libya, Mr Seguin Afolayan, Chief Planning Officer, on behalf of the Director-General and other Federal Agencies welcomed the Voluntary Returnees back in the country.
Afolayan urged the Returnees to turn a leave in forging ahead in their future endeavours and not allow the unfortunate experiences to negatively affect them.
He said: “Truly, you had bad experiences differently, collectively and individually, but these should be the motivation for you to make a positive decision to see the brighter future ahead of you.
“This is because no one can tell the story more than you and making the better use of your lives are essential.
“Please the Federal Government is urging you to be ambassadors of positive change by taking the anti-irregular migration to those still aspiring to take a dangerous journey.”
According to NEMA, the returnees comprise 71 female (adults), 3 females children and 3 babies (female)53 male (adults), 6 male children and 5 male infants.
Amongst them were 2 medical cases, 9 families and 11 pregnant women.
Agencies that joined NEMA in the emergency operation included the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), the Refugee Commission, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) among others.
490 Nigerians have returned from Libya as part of the first batch of over 3,000 persons that are expected to be evacuated to the country over a period of time.
They arrived the Port Harcourt International Airport on Sunday with the aid of officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and displaced persons.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said this is the first time the Federal Government will be sending such a strong delegation to any country to canvass for the release of Nigerians held in what he described as “inhuman conditions.”
Over the past weeks, several batches of migrants have been voluntarily assisted back home after their failed attempts to cross over to Europe through Libya.
With the news of slave trading and the brutal experiences of some migrants sparking global criticism, the government subsequently promised to do all it can to ensure that all Nigerian (illegal) migrants are brought back to the country.