It was gory tales yesterday at the cargo section of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos as another batch of 258 Nigerians were yesterday deported from Libya.
The deportees who arrived the cargo section of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 10.00pm aboard an Airbus A333-200 and were received at the Hajj Terminal by the National Emergency Management Agency narrated how they were brutalised like animals in Libya.
Mr Akhere Ken, one of the deportees from Edo State, said he has been in detention in Libya in the past one year after he was arrested on board a boat while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea to Italy. About One hundred of them were cramped into a room not enough to accommodate Twenty people with resultant suffocation to death of one inmate almost every week.
“As one inmate dies, more Nigerians are brought and squeezed into the room. Any inmate with medical condition is not given even common paracetamol.We watch helplessly as our friends die before our very eyes,” Ken said.
Other deportees who were also aboard the chartered Libya Airlines Airbus A330-200 with registration number 5A-LAU and profiled by the NEMA official late into the night had similar tales of woes to tell..
They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) , the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.Officials of NEMA, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), were also present.
Dr Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, said the returnees were made up of 220 males, 18 females and 20 children and infants.
According to Bandele, “Since December 2016, we have been able to bring back 1,268 Nigerians and the exercise will continue in collaboration with the IOM.The Federal Government is collaborating with the various state governments to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees.
Also speaking, Ms Julia Burpee, Public Information Officer, IOM, said the organisation had facilitated the return of over 7,000 Nigerians from various countries in the past 16 years.