One hundred and sixty-one Nigerians who have been stranded in Libya returned voluntarily to Nigeria yesterday.
They arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos around 3:30p on board an Airbus 329 with registration number Nouvelair TS-INB.
The returnees were assisted back home by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) after many months in Libyan detention facilities and after the Federal Government asked for its assistance after confirming that some Nigerians were willing to return home.
They arrived singing songs of praise and beaming with smiles, thanking their creator for bringing them safely home after they were received at the Hajj Terminal by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The group were made up of 60 males including 51 adults, two children and seven infants while females were 101 consisting of 92 adults, seven children and two infants.
Head of Sub office of IOM in Lagos, Nahashon Thuo disclosed that the returnees decided to voluntarily return home because of the hostile conditions in Libya.
He said this was why the IOM intervened to facilitate their returns, disclosing that they would be given a stipend of 50 pounds (about N30,000) to support them to return to their destinations.
Addressing newsmen at the Hajj Camp wing of the airport where the returnees were profiled, the Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Sidi, represented by the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, Dr. Abdullahi Onimode, said the deportees would be given some token to go back to their respective destinations.
He also advised those leaving the country in search of greener pastures to have a rethink and stay in the country to develop it.
The NEMA boss said, “We are giving them some stipends. We need to let them realize that the country they left some years ago is not the same country they are meeting today. We have moved ahead and everybody now has equal opportunity to be the best you can be.”
Some of the deportees who appeared trumatised said they will never leave Nigeria again. One of them who gave his name as Stanley Nduh told Vanguard that the Libya police hung him upside down after beating him mercilessly. He said he was not allowed to take any property he acquired from doing odd jobs.
Another returnee, a 22 year old female who gave her name as Beauty Johnson from Edo state recounted that was arrested and spent three months in prison before IOM came to her rescue.
Watch their photos below: