No fewer than 155 Nigerians were yesterday deported from Libya, making
it about the fourth batch of Nigerians arriving the Murtala Muhammed
International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, from Libya in the last two
The deportees were nabbed after unsuccessful attempts to cross over to
Europe from the North African region.
The returnees, who were largely in their 20s and 30s, were picked from
different prisons and detention camps in the country.
According to the Nigerian Immigration Services, their release was
negotiated by International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
About two weeks ago a total of 171 were deported from Libya on March
7; another 171 on February 21, while 161 voluntarily returned with the
assistance of IOM on February 14 this year.
The return of the latest batch of Nigerians yesterday was the fourth
this year and ninth of such returns in the last 15 months in which a
total of 1,521 persons have been repatriated.
Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, National Emergency Management
Agency (NEMA), Dr. Bandele Onimode, said among the returnees were
three medical cases. One of the returnees had paralysis, the other
psychiatric case, while the last was a minor ailment. All were being
catered for by a team of IOM and Port Authority’s doctors shortly
Onimode said that the returnees all voluntarily chose to return to
Nigeria after they were rescued from harsh and inhuman conditions in
He added that it was NEMA’s duty to receive them on behalf of the
federal government, and connect the returnees with various state
governments for proper integration.
Public Information Officer of IOM, Julia Burpee, said theirs were
cases of people stranded in Libya and unable to proceed as economic
migrants to Europe, adding that about 7000 Nigerians have been
repatriated since 2001. ELANZANEWS.M