The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have received a set of 180 Nigerians stranded in Niger Republic on their way to Algeria to seek greener pastures.
Daily Trust reports the returnees were brought back to Kano State at about 11:30 am in three buses by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) from Agadas, Niger Republic.
Receiving the returnees in Kano on Friday, the NEMA Coordinator Kano Territorial Office, Dr Nuradeen Abdullahi, said the Nigerians included: 144 male adults, 13 female adults and 23 children (17 females and six males).
According to him, the returnees were brought back to Kano through a voluntary repatriation programme for the distressed who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries, but could not afford to return when their journey became frustrated.
“The returnees are from different parts of the country, Lagos, Katsina, Cross River, Kaduna, Bauchi and Kano State among other others. They will be trained for four days to be self-reliant and will be given a grant.”
He advised the returnees to be ambassadors towards advocacy and sensitisation against irregular migration.
“Nigerians should avoid endangering their lives by travelling to seek for greener pastures in other countries no country better than our country Nigeria,” the coordinator said.
He noted that the agency between May and August received 380 stranded Nigerians from Agadas and Khartoum, Sudan, and were trained in various vocational skills.
One of the returnees Maryam Mukhtar, a widow from Bauchi State and mother of six, said she travelled to Libya in search of greener pastures with two of her kids.
“I got a job in an Arab man’s house in Libya. Every night, he threatened to have sex with me which I refused and decided to come back to my country. He even pointed a gun at me that if I tell his wife his intention to have sex with me, he would kill me.”
Another returnee, Sani Muhammad, from Kano, said he was going to Algeria, but got stranded at Sabaha in Libya, adding that his friend arranged for the trip.
“We didn’t just decide to travel to other places. We have nothing doing here (in Nigeria) and life is very hard for us. But if we can be treated good and have something doing we will stay,” he said.