By Raji Rasak
Some 140 Nigerians stranded in Libya on Tuesday arrived the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Lagos, aboard a Libyan Airlines plane.
The returnees are among those who voluntarily agreed to return to Nigeria from the North African country.
They are 74 adult females, 52 adult males, one female child, two male children, three female infants, two male infants and six unaccompanied kids, out of which five are female and one male.
Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), facilitated their journey to Nigeria.
Sidi, who was represented by Dr Onimode Bandele, Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA said: “What makes this special is that we have four minor accompanied among them.’’
“We have to do proper training to see that these people are united with their families.
“We have three medical cases on board and our doctors are aware of their cases and waiting to attend to them,” he said.
He thanked IOM that made it possible for the Nigerians to return home and also commended the government for mobilizing different agencies for the exercise.
He advised the returnees to stop running away from the country, and urged them to remain in Nigeria to develop assist other compatriots in the development of the country.
“My advice for you is to sit down at home, struggle and let’s develop our country. The country you are running to, their citizens developed it. If all of us run out of the country, who will develop it?.
“So let stay back, struggle, work hard and ensure that our country is a better place for us,” he said.
Head of Lagos Office of IOM, Dr Nahashon Thuo, said most of the returnees were trying to cross to Europe without valid immigration papers.
Thuo said they were arrested by Libyan Immigration.
The returnees, he said, indicated their interest to return to Nigeria, and added that they would be given 50 dollars each by the organisation.
One of the returnees, Mrs Ifeoluwa Adeosun said she sold all her property to travel to Germany when her husband.
An indigene of Owo in Ondo State, she said she decided to go abroad in search of the means to take care of her children after the demise of her husband.
She thanked IOM and Federal Government for facilitating her trip back to Nigeria.
Adeosun appealed to the Federal Government to evacuate other Nigerians in Libya, adding that they were suffering there.