* as 12,974 stranded Nigerians arrive in 65 charter flights
A 19-year-old girl from Imo state has narrated her ordeal on return from Libya after spending over one year in jail, saying she wasted one good year doing nothing in Libya.
The girl who identifies herself as Ijeoma Okoro is the first born of her family.
She said the quest to cater for her parents and five siblings pushed her to embark on the perilous journey to Libya through the desert with Italy being her final destination.
Unfortunately for her, she was caught on the Mediterranean Sea alongside other migrants mostly Nigerians and bundled to a Libyan detention facility.
She was one of the 132 stranded migrants repatriated home in the late hours of Tuesday, 24 hours after 180 stranded irregular migrants were returned via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) cargo terminal in Lagos.
Tuesday night’s arrival was the 65th flight to be chartered for the massive repatriation of stranded Nigerians in the restive Libya under the EU-IOM initiative for migrants’ protection and reintegration.
According to the EU-IOM, a total of 12,974 have been repatriated since 2017 when the programme started.
On ground to receive the 65th flight were the European Union Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Lagos Territorial Office, Alh. Idris Muhammed, Operations Manager, IOM, Mr. Tamrat Abhra, Lagos Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP), Daniel Atokolo; South-West Coordinator, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Ms Margaret Ukagbu, among others.