Libya, through the assistance of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has deported 171 Nigerians.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) received the latest batch deportees arrived the MMIA Ikeja Cargo Wing yesterday night via Buraq Airline with registration number 5A-DMG at about 8:25 p.m and flight number UZ589.

They comprised of 70 female adults, including nine pregnant women, 90 male adults, three children and eight infants.

The deportees were brought from Zintan District of Libya, and eight of them were reported to have minor health related issues.

The South West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Yakubu Suleiman, in his remarks during the deportees’ arrival, urged parents and guardians to desist from encouraging their children or wards on embarking on such perilous journeys.

Suleiman said he was disappointed by many parents who supported their children to go outside the country through illegal routes, adding that such parents even sell their valuable properties to raise funds for the journey.

He said: “We have been inundated with parents calling that they have lost contact with their children while many would continue to raise money from home and send to children who would have been held captive and the captors must be settled before their children would be set free.”

He advised the deportees to become anti-trafficking champions, and work towards disabusing the minds of some ignorant people still trying to embark on such journeys.

“You have seen it all, experience is the best teacher. Today, all of you are saying you will never encourage any of your family members to travel outside wasting huge resources through illegal routes despite various risks and dangers.

“I am begging you to also carry this message to the people you come across in life and share your experiences to discourage young people wasting their energies and productive lives in seeking wealth,” Suleiman implored.

One of the deportees, who pleaded that her identity should not be in print, narrated that her parents were peasant farmers, struggling to survive.

According to her, “I heard about the possibility of making changes in the lives of my families by traveling abroad; I told my parents and they didn’t object.

“I wanted to go France and knew that it was prostitution that I would do.

I didn’t mind it in as much as I can make my parents comfortable. But on getting to Libya after much suffering on the road from Kano, I was held by some Libyans and my trafficker raised money to free me.

“Again, I was held by another group but this time, I had to call my parents to raise money in order to free me. They sold everything they had to send to me but I was able to return to Nigeria through the assistance of IOM when we could no longer proceed to my destination,” she lamented.

According to her, she was made to swear that upon starting work in France, she would pay her trafficker £12, 000, and the herbalist (who conned her into believing that things would work out) £1,000 to settle all the expenses paid on her.

Sadly, “Now I am back in Nigeria without anything to show for it. My parents will be worst hit and how can I help my parents to recover?”, she queried.

 

Photo: Guardian