Libya Returnees: 253 Nigerians Voluntarily Returns


No fewer than 253 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya on Tuesday aboard a chartered Airbus A330-200 with registration 5A-LAT operated by Libya Airlines, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The returnees were made up of 102 males, 140 females, six children and five infants reportedly arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Tuesday at about 6.45pm.

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They were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian embassy in Libya.

The returnees were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.

Also on ground to receive them were officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Libya Returnees

The Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, Dr. Onimode Bandele, who addressed newsmen said two of the returnees had medical issues. According to him, one of them was suffering from depression, while the other had severe burns requiring a surgical operation.

”Let’s thank God that these ones have returned safely because Libya is not what it used to be.

“As a government, our advice is that young Nigerians should strive to work hard and tap into vast opportunities available in the country instead of seeking greener pastures elsewhere. ”

Bandele said some state governments had initiated various programmes to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees back into the society. He added that NEMA would continue to work with IOM to bring back Nigerians willing to return.

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One of the returnees who spoke to newsmen said she suffered the severe burns on her face while working for her “madam” who only went to dump her at the hospital where she was abandoned.

She said she arrived Libya in February after making a payment of N300, 000 to her traffickers.

The returnee, therefore, appealed to the government for assistance to carry out a reconstructive surgery on her face.

In March, a total of 236 Nigerians also voluntarily returned from the North African country where they had been stranded enroute Europe.

Due to the series of deportation and execution of illegal immigrants from Libya, the Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri had in January advised Nigerians to stay away from Libya for the time being.

Libya shares border with the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica.

With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometers (700,000 square metres), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, 16th largest country in the world.

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Libya also has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves than any country in the world. Aside all of these, traveling to Libya does not involve a lot of documentation and processes, which accounts for why most illegal travelers tend to pass through Libya out of Africa.