Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
A Libya returnee, Deacon Ekwuabi John has warned that the journey through Libya to Europe portends death for unsuspecting travellers, saying that the process is life threatening as the survival rate is at 70-30 per cent.
Ekwuabi, who spoke to journalists in Asaba, said he was a victim of human trafficking as he was made to undergo the journey through the dessert from Nigeria to Libya where over 5, 000 Nigerians lived in the bush with no food or water, disclosing that they were transported in a truck with over 300 persons loaded in the truck.
“We saw real death in life and many of us were made to drink our urine inside the truck and in the dessert with over 300 passengers. In the dessert, the sun rises as early as 4am and sets as late as 10pm, thus making the weather very hot and leading to fever that will never go.
“Several people died of thirst because sometimes they have to stay without drinking water for weeks and at a point our urine becomes reddish in colour and we have to drink it as we have exhausted our water supply,” he said.
Ekwuabi explained that another serious threat to the lives of the illegal immigrants was traceable to the activities of dessert bandits, saying that “bandits kidnap passengers and keep them for days and even weeks, and the men are used for hard labour while the women are used for sex slaves. Sometimes, they release a few alive.
“Sometimes, people’s organs are harvested and sold to the organ markets without their knowledge.
There are lots of people whose parents are still awaiting their return here in Asaba and Nigeria to no avail, not knowing the children have been killed.”
According to him, he has since been to Libya legally twice after being initially trafficked, adding that “the Libya dessert is a death trap and the grass across the fence is not as green like the ones in Nigeria.
It’s all hell, especially for the women who are sexually abused and in the process many have died, and have been buried in the bush.”