BARELY one week after 161 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya, a fresh batch is being expected to arrive the country on Tuesday. The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, South-West Zone, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, said on Monday in Lagos that the returnees are expected to arrive the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company/Hajj Camp Section of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos by 3:00 p.m.
161 Nigerians had on February 14 voluntarily returned from Libya aboard a chartered Nouvelair aircraft with registration number TS-1NB. The aircraft had landed at 3.55 p.m. at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
The returnees, comprising of 40 males, 103 females, nine children and nine infants, were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya. They were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons and the Police.
Also on ground to receive them were officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. Three of the returnees needed medical attention, with one of them, Miss Loveth Omorodion, arriving the country with a fractured leg.
The returnees were each given a stipend of N19, 695 to facilitate their transportation to their respective states. Addressing newsmen, Mr Nahashon Thuo, Head of Sub-office, IOM, Lagos, said the returnees indicated interest to return to Nigeria due to the harsh living condition in Libya.
He said, “Our role is to facilitate their safe return to Nigeria. We provided them with travel documents, clothes and a little stipend to enable them to reunite with their families.”
Also speaking, the Director-General, NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sidi, said their return was prompted by a recent viral video showing some Nigerians being brutalised in Libya. He said, “When we saw the video, we immediately contacted our partners and sent it to IOM to help us clarify it.
“So what you are witnessing today is the effort of IOM who got in touch with the people over there, and the returnees you are seeing today are Nigerians who have shown interest to return voluntarily.
Sidi, who was represented by Dr Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA advised Nigerians to stay in the country and develop it together.
On his part, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the government remains committed to the welfare of Nigerians all over the world. Represented by her Special Assistant, Mr Abdulrahman Balogun, she advised Nigerians abroad to be worthy ambassadors of the country.
She said the government had started a programme to rehabilitate Nigerians who volunteered to return from Libya, in order to reintegrate them into the society. – (NAN)
— Feb 20, 2017 @ 18:25 GMT