Another batch of 150 Nigerians stranded in Niger repatriated
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Wednesday repatriated another batch of 150 Nigerians stranded in Niger.
NEMA had earlier, on February 20, received 150 Nigerians stranded in the neighbouring country.
NEMA Coordinator, Kano Territorial Office, Nuradeen Abdullahi, received Wednesday’s returnees at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, on behalf of NEMA’s director-general, Mustapha Habib-Ahmed.
Also on hand to receive the returnees were officials of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs, Red Cross Society, Directorate of State Security, and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“The returnees were repatriated to Nigeria from Niamey under the care of the International Organisation for Migration in a voluntary repatriation programme.
“The programme is meant for distressed Nigerians who left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries but could not afford to return when their journeys were aborted midway.
“The returnees comprised 66 male adults, 27 female adults and 57 children (33 female and 24 male),’’ Mr Abdullahi said.
He said the returnees are from different parts of Nigeria, particularly Kano, Bauchi, Kaduna, Katsina, Benue and Abia states.
“The returnees will undergo a three-day training programme on how to achieve self-sustainability and would be provided with seed capitals to enable them to engage in productive ventures and to be self-reliant,’’ he said.
Mr Abdullahi urged the returnees to learn from their experiences, be law-abiding and avoid illegal migration.
He advised would-be migrants to avoid endangering their lives by seeking greener pastures in other countries, stressing that no country was better than their origin.
Recounting his ordeal, Izehi Solomon-Kamsi (30), from Abia, said he paid $500 to be smuggled to Libya.
“In Libya, on my way to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe, I was jailed for six months, while in Algeria, I spent two months in prison.
“I suffered a lot because I spent three years in the Sahara while trying to go to Germany to seek greener pasture,’’ he said.
Another returnee, Dose John, a single mother of two from Benue, said she travelled to Libya to seek greener pastures because her father died and left her sick mother and three siblings.