12,000 Nigerians in Libya prisons, stranded

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No fewer than 12,000 young Nigerians are in prisons or stranded in different parts of North African country, Libya.

The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMI) has confirmed and said that 3,887 have been deported since February this year.

Eight days after 149 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya, another batch of 258 were received in Lagos on Tuesday night.

They were deported from the North African country where they had been stranded enroute Europe.

The returnees were brought back aboard a Libyan Airlines aircraft with Registration Number 5A-LAU.

The Airbus 330-200 aircraft touched down at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 8.45pm on Tuesday.

The returnees, who were assisted back to Nigeria by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), comprised of 238 female adults, seven teenage girls and one infant, while the male were seven adults, two teenage boys and three baby boys.

No fewer than 149 Nigerians had on Nov. 6 returned from Libya.

The NCRMI South-West Zonal Director, Mrs Magret Ukegbu, said the whole of the deportees were received from Feb. 1 to Nov. 6.

Ukegbu said that the commission had been working with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other relevant organisations in receiving the deportees.

“These young Nigerians, mostly girls from age 14, were received in different weeks during the period.

“We have found out that the IOM, European Union (EU), Dutch and Swiss governments are involved in the deportation of these Nigerians from Libya,’’ she said.

She said that some of the young people returned with pregnancy.

According to her, there are more than 12,000 young Nigerians in prisons or stranded in different parts of Libya.

Ukegbu expressed worry at the situation.

She said that the commission was working to ensure durable integration of the deportees into the Nigerian society.

“The commission believes that it is not enough to receive these young Nigerians; it is important that they are urgently given the needed mentoring, training and rehabilitation.

“My federal commissioner is really working at ensuring that durable solutions are sustained,’’ she said. (NAN)

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