By Etse Kassim, Abuja
At least 636 Nigerians trafficked to Libya have returned to the country between Tuesday and Thursday this week.
In a move facilitated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU) 387 were flown back to the country on Tuesday while the other 249 touched down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Thursday.
The returnees, who were trapped in Libya on their way to Europe, were subjected to various forms of human degradation with some being sold as slaves.
They were received by Mustapha Maihajja, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA).
Represented by Suleiman Yakubu, the South West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Maihajia implored the returnees to be champions of positive change by supporting the campaign against irregular migration.
He further called on them to help in the quest to properly enlighten Nigerian youth on the dangers of seeking greener pastures outside the country through illegal means based on their experiences in Libya.
His words: “You should let them know that you are always second citizens outside your country and your rights can be violated without opportunity for you to seek redress at all.”
Thousands of Nigerians are reported to be still trapped in the war-ravaged Libya, while more have died trying to cross the mediterranean sea to Europe.
Three thousand Nigerians have voluntarily returned from Libya through the IOM supported programme in the last few months while many more whose sordid experience generated a lot of concern across the world are still lining up for return to the country.