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Nigerian Returns From Libya

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Nigeria evacuates 493 citizens from Libya

The Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani, who led the Rivers state delegation, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for making efforts in returning the stranded Nigerians.

This is coming barely 24 hours after 485 returnees from Libya arrived Nigeria on Sunday.

The Federal Government has repatriated another 493 Nigerians from Libya.

The government delegation had on January 5 left Nigeria on a fact finding mission to secure the release of Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya.

Beaming with smiles, the returnees were accompanied by other members of the team, including; the DirectorGeneral, National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA), Engr.

All returnees are to be temporarily camped at a reception centre in Port Harcourt after which they would be transferred to their respective states.

The minister noted that the programme is a continuous process that would return all stranded Nigerians from Libya.

All the returnees were profiled at the designated booths at the airport.

NAN reports that on Friday, the Federal Government announced the establishment of a reception centre in Port Harcourt for 5,037 Nigerians being evacuated from Libya.

Mr. Onyeama said the Nigerian mission in Libya was coordinating the identification of the Nigerian migrants with the support of International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

His words, "Some of them that have criminal tendencies will be taken care of by the relevant agencies".

"On behalf of the Rivers State Governor, Mr Nyesom Wike, I will like to thank President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his team who worked tirelessly to make the return of our brothers and sisters successful".

"Some of the difficulties with getting precise numbers is that some are within the control of the central government in camps, some are clearly outside the camps, some are also in less accessible areas where there might not be full central government control and authority", declared Onyema.

Citizens of Nigeria, the most-populated country on the African continent, have been the largest group among migrants travelling to Libya to try and cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

The minister said that the young Nigerians being trafficked were shattered and battered and seen as commodity to be traded for economic gains.

He said Nigerians who were residing in Libya legally complained of harassment by Libyan Government officials who they said destroyed their passports and other residency papers.

Ms. Okah-Donli said "the returnees would be counselled by trained personnel and those with medical condition would be treated at the agency's facilities".

Echoing the United Nations, the BBC recently reported that Nigerian migrants trying to reach Europe are sold, leased, and used as slaves in Libya where they are beaten, starved, raped, and even killed by prison guards.

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