Setting The Captives Free At Buhari’s Order
Nigeria News take a look at the return of Nigerian immigrants from Libya
At least 401 Nigerian migrants arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Lagos between Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
They were Nigerians who voluntarily surrendered themselves for repatriation from Libya.
They escaped being sold as slaves like many others. President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier given an order that all Nigerians in Libya must be brought back home.
He said this at the African Union-European Union Summit in Ivory Coast last week and since he made the pronouncement, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama had met with the Libyan Ambassador to find a way of transporting the immigrants to Nigeria.
The Libyan Government promised to deal with whoever caught in the slave auction going on in the country.
It took the officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA and the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora Matters, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa a night of vigil, waiting for the immigrants to arrive at the airport.
The refugees were lodged at the Lagos Airport Hotel and were consequently given some stipends to get to their various states within 48 hours of their arrival.
They lamented about their ordeal in the northern African country. “We were tortured, dehumanized, raped and dumped in prisons without committing any offence,” the Nigerian migrants said as they arrived at the airport.”
Sometimes, Dabiri-Erewa had urged Nigerians in Libya to return home and that no Nigerian should venture into going to Libya. She investigated and found out that most Nigerians that passed through Libya to Europe ended up in the Mediterranean Sea.
In the last three months that she requested for their return over 2, 000 had arrived, including the 401 that came in on Tuesday and Wednesday.
They have come back to join the population of unemployed Nigerians, which of course is better than leaving them to die as slaves in Libya.
Also on Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari was accompanied by the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje to set free 500 inmates of Kurmawa Central Prisons in Kano metropolis.
It is part of Federal Government’s efforts to decongest the prisons across the country. Buhari advised the prisoners to start a new life but the question is how and where will they begin in a country that has not been able to provide jobs for millions?
Currently, going by Buhari’s grant of amnesty to prisoners and the arrival of Nigerian immigrants, the number of the unemployed population has just increased by about 3, 000.
Are the captives really free after being freed by the authorities? It is a question that requires urgent answers.