By Lawani Mikairu

Lagos—The third batch of Nigerians numbering 171 deported from Libya yesterday arrived the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos aboard an aircraft operated by Buraq Air with registration no TNSIB UZ/89/190.

This is just as the deportees made up of 76 males and 95 females called on federal government to provide jobs for the youths to prevent the dangerous attempt to cross the dreaded Mediterranean sea to Europe

The deportees who had three  medical cases, brought in an ambulance arrived the Haji camp of the airport, where the deportees were profiled. They looked joyous for being able to make it back to Nigeria after the harrowing experience they had in Libya.

The 171 Nigerians returnees from Libya on touch-down at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos yesterday. Photos by Lamidi Bamidele.

Addressing newsmen after the profiling of the deportees, National Commission for Refugee Commissioner, Hajia Sadiat Umar-Farouk said not all the deportees are illegal immigrants as some of them  had valid papers but were deported after a frame up by their host country’s militias. She however advised the young girls to avoid the  dangerous journey across the dessert in search of greener pasture.

“The grass is actually not as green on the other side as the youths imagine. They should stay back here  and practice their trade as some of these returnees already had skills they learnt here in Nigeria.

‘’They can make it here. It is these same skills they practice in the country they  migrated to.”

She disclosed that the National Commission for Refugees is  in constant touch with the international refugee agency towards assisting any Nigerian in distress abroad so that they can return to Nigeria as the current 171 Nigerians who were assisted back by the commission.

 Returnees’ experience

Narrating her experience in Libya, one of the female returnees who identified herself as Gift John said she was aboard a ship while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea from Libya. She disclosed to Vanguard that she decided to undertake the dangerous journey to Europe because she could not get a job here in Nigeria.

“Some of us  you are seeing are educated. But because I could not get a job here in Nigeria I decided to go abroad not minding the danger involved. I even learnt hair dressing here in Nigeria and I could not get a job. I was only going up and down inside the market plaiting women’s hair for peanuts. When I initially got to Libya I was making it and sending money back to my people until I decided to move to Europe”

Another deportee, Isaac James said until government provides jobs, Nigerians will continue to go to Europe no matter what the government will say. “We cannot stay here and remain jobless. Government must think about the youths.”



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