The numbers of repatriated Nigerians from Libya have increased from 257 to 401, following the arrival of the first 144 Nigerians. The returnees arrived with Libya Airlines Aircraft between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Of the 257 returnees, 65 were female, 179 male, seven children and six infants. Another batch of144 returnees had 39 female, 97 male, two children and six infant.
One of the returnees, Joseph Alabi, who spoke to newsmen from the Lagos Airport Police command, said they were assisted back to Nigeria by the International Organization for Migration and European Union.
He said, “We arrived at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos, and were received by the Senior Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria Immigration, the National
Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).”
The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said in a statement on Tuesday that Nigeria’s embassy in Libya has been visiting detention camps to identify Nigerians for registration and repatriation.
The return of the migrants comes barely a week after news of slave trading of Africans in the North African country drew global criticism, with several leaders, authorities, as well as citizens condemning the infamous act. The migrants, who are mainly from Africa, entered Libya as a route to cross the Mediterranean sea to European shores.
Most migrants are placed in detention centres across Tripoli, with some requesting assistance to return to their home countries. Some 600,000 migrants have reached Italy by sea from North Africa since 2014 while more than 12,000 have died while trying.