326 Nigerians Return Home From Libya Under The Cover Of Darkness
Exactly one week after 164 Nigerians were repatriated from Libya for illegal entry, another batch of Nigerians has been deported for the same offence.
The latest returnees were received by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, on Thursday night and early Friday morning.
They were brought into the country in two batches.
Alhaji Idris Muhammed, Coordinator of the Lagos NEMA Territorial Office, received the returnees on arrival with different flights at the Cargo Wing of MMIA, Ikeja.
The first flight arrived Nigeria with 143 returnees aboard Al Buraq Air Boeing 737-800 with flight number UZ189 and registration number 5A-DMG, which landed at 10:20pm, while the second flight arrived with Nouvelair Air flight UZ 175 and registration number TS-INA with 183 returnees aboard, and landed early Friday morning.
The repatriated Nigerians were brought back by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in its Assisted Voluntary Returnees (AVR) initiative with funding from the European Union for reintegration of the returnees back into their community.
At the end of profiling, the breakdown of returnees showed that 291 adults were brought back with eight children and 27 infants.
Addressing the returnees, the NEMA coordinator said: “The country of our dream is unfolding. As you are struggling to travel outside country, many foreign nationals are also struggling to come into Nigeria as well. Movement of people is naturally divine and no one is saying you should not travel, but travelling across the desert is not worth it.
“The Federal Government is desirous of making every Nigerian to make his quota in developing the country to the level we want it to be. Let us all stay back and support the government in its efforts at refocusing the country.”
He urged the returnees to have trust and confidence in the government, assuring that the government was on the right track, just as he admonished them to stay back and build a virile and developed nation.
Muhammed also urged them to be ready for the reintegration process that would follow the arrival stage that had just been completed.
Daniel Atokolo, the Zonal Commander of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), also assured Nigerians that volunteering information that could lead to identification and arrest of traffickers would be treated with utmost secrecy, with the protection of the source of information as priority.
He insisted that trafficking was evil, stressing that it must be rooted out of the country in order to ensure better living for all.