January 9, 2018

487 Nigerian returnees arrive Port Harcourt from Libya

FILE: Libya returnees on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport Sunday. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

The second batch of 487 Nigerian returnees from Libya arrived Port Harcourt International Airport at about 10.43 p.m. on Monday in Max Air.

On Friday, the Federal Government announced the establishment of a reception centre in  Port Harcourt for 5,037 Nigerians being evacuated from Libya.

Libya returnees on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport Sunday. Photo: Nwankpa Chijioke

The returnees were received by officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), led representatives from other Federal Government agencies.

NEMA officials conveyed the returnees to Haji camp where they were profiled and fed.

Officials were on ground to check the returnees’ body temperature and also gave immediate first aid to those in need.

Officials also said 487 returnees are expected to be transported back to their states of origin within few days.

The Federal Government, on Monday, said it has so far evacuated 1,030 stranded Nigerian migrants from Libya between Jan. 7 and Jan 8.

Mustapha Maihaja, the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency, disclosed this at a joint news conference by the Federal Government delegation to Libya.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, had on Jan. 5 led a delegation on fact finding mission to Libya to secure the release of Nigerian migrants stranded in that country.

Onyeama said the Nigerian mission in Libya was coordinating the identification of the Nigerian migrants with the support of International Organisation for Migration.

According to him, they are being joined by a technical team comprising representatives from NEMA, Immigration and other relevant Nigerian government agencies.

The minister said that the political and security challenges in that country made it difficult to secure the evacuation of some Nigerians back home.

He added that “there are different centres of power in that country.

The central government recognised by the UN and AU do not have full control of the territories controlled by rebels.”

He pointed out that there were over 50 detention camps in Libya, many of them under the control of rebels and militia groups.