One of the irregular migrants that came back recently from Libya through the assistance of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Mr. Ephraim Okundolor has revealed how senseless his action was.
He said it was only God’s uncommon favour that saved him from all the near-death situations that he passed through in the desert, the Mediterranean Sea and in the prison in Libya.
He told our reporter that he spent over N3 million in his effort to enter Italy but failed at the end.
He said: “I regret everything that has happened. I spent over N3 million in the journey. I paid N450, 000 to the person who assisted me from Nigeria while my wife paid N500,000.
“I made four attempts to cross the Mediterranean but failed on each occasion. It was during the last attempt, when we had almost entered the blue sea that the Libyan militants intercepted our boat, and sent us back to Libya, where we were thrown into the prison. In each of the attempts, I paid N120, 000; so I spent a total of N480, 000 trying to cross over the sea to Italy from Libya.
“I also paid N700, 000 to regain my freedom when we were dumped at a camp in Tripoli. My people also sent N700, 000 to me with which I initially wanted to procure a return ticket to Nigeria before IOM came to our rescue.
“So, when you add all those money to the expenses I made during the desert journey and the ones I spent to sustain myself for the over six months that I wasted in the journey, you will agree with me that I spent over N3 million, without any positive result.
“However, I thank God for sparing my life because many people died in the process. In short, I took part in the burial of some of the dead persons both in the desert and in Tripoli.”
He thanked IOM for saving him and urged Nigerians to refrain from taking the risk of going to Europe by road, advising that those who insist on leaving the country should endeavour to follow the regular, legal route.
He called on government at all levels to create jobs for the youths, saying that that is the surest way to discourage Nigerians from embarking on such dangerous journey.