Not less than 111 Nigerians were yesterday deported from Libya for various immigration reasons.
The deportees were received at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on arrival.
The breakdown of deportees indicated that 47 of them were males, 52 females and four male under aged (minor) and eight female under aged.
The returnees were brought into the country with flight ADMG 1915 from Tripoli, Libya.
They were handed over to NEMA at Lagos Airport by International Organisation of Migration (IOM).
Speaking at MMIA, the Director-General, NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, urged the returnees to take to account the trauma and hardship that they had gone through in the foreign land to avail themselves of the abundant opportunities abound in Nigeria.
Sidi who was represented by the agency’s South West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Iyiola Akande pointed out to them that whatever effort or achievement one makes in a foreign land, he is still considered as second class citizen, that may be deprived of many opportunities that are abound in such country.
He, therefore, enjoined them to consider their return as a challenge and forge a way forward to starting a new life with uplifting the standard of living of fellow citizens in particular and technological development of country as a whole with the knowledge and practical experiences they have acquired in the course of the sojourn.
On the complaints of some of the returnees who claimed that little was done by the government to safeguard the welfare of the distressed Nigerians during the Arab Spring, Sidi reiterated that NEMA and Nigerian Embassies in the troubled and neighbouring countries mobilized resources to evacuate its citizens by deploying all available mass media to reach to them and those who turned were repatriated back to Nigeria.
He went further to explain that humanitarian principle does give room for forceful evacuation if such individual is not willing, he stated that most of the recent returnees may be residing at the remotest part of Libya where they could have access to mass media that were deployed by NEMA or some of them deliberately refused to be evacuated on their own volition.
He cited the current repatriation, which indicated that initially about 162 were ready to return to Nigeria but the figure rose to 172 at the point of departure, but about 61 of the intended returnees declined when they were asked to board the flight back to Nigeria at the last minute.