A Nigerian who was among the one hundred and sixty-one other volunteer deportees from Libya on Tuesday, tells a story of torture in the hands of Libyan police prior to his deportation.
The deportees returned to Nigeria on board an Airbus 329 with registration number Nouvelair TS-INB, and their journey back to Nigeria was sponsored by the International Organisation for Migration, IOM, whom Federal Government had requested to assist after confirmation showed some Nigerians were willing to return home.
Stanley Iduh who seemed traumatized by his ordeal in Libya and willing joined the departure plane told Vanguard that he will never leave Nigeria again. He narrated that Libya police hung him upside down after beating him mercilessly and he was never allowed to take any property he acquired from Libya.
The 34-year-old indigene of Delta state, said he was tricked by an agent popularly known as ‘Burger’, that he would facilitate his journey to Spain through Libya. Mr. Iduh added that when his hope of crossing into Spain was dashed, he stay back and worked in the Arab country. He said:
“I worked in Tile producing company and their salary was good but unfortunately, I cannot save my money in the bank.
“I lived with other Nigerians. I dug a hole in the ground to save my money. Unfortunately, one day, some Libyans came, kidnapped us and inflicted punishment on us.
“They asked us to call our relations back in Nigeria and tell them to send N300,000 as our ransom. The $200,000 dollars that I saved, disappeared; they moved us to another place until we got to a detention camp.
“Nigerians should be discouraged from traveling to Libya because they are not treating us like human beings. Our ladies were dehumanised by Libyan officials, it is very painful.”
As tears stream down his eyes, Iduh said he sold his father’s house to embark on that journey, because he was jobless in Nigeria. He urged the government to provide jobs for youths in Nigeria.
“I am back in the country after eight months, devastated and humiliated. I have gone to look for greener pasture but here I am today; I have brought nothing green back home.”
The individuals comprising of 101 women and 60 men including 7 children and 2 infants were conveyed through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA at 3:30 pm and received at the Hajj Terminal by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
Also, among the group are three lone minors and other three who needed medical care. According to the Deputy Director NEMA, Abdullahi Onimode who spoke to newsmen at the Hajj Camp wing of the airport where the returnees were profiled, a token would be given to the deportees to go back their respective homes since the deportation was a voluntary one.
“We are giving them some stipends. We need to let them realize that the country they left some years ago is not the same country they are meeting today. We have moved ahead and everybody now has equal opportunity to be the best you can be.”
Onimode advised those leaving the country in search of greener pastures to have a rethink and stay in the country to develop it.
It can be recalled that hundreds of Nigerians have returned since 2016, others have faced deportation while many more are still trapped in their quest to cross over to Europe through the Mediterranean sea.