Nigerian returnees from Libya narrate tales of rape, abuse, violence

African migrants stranded on a boat coming from Libya wait for rescue services, near Sfax, on the Tunisian coast, on June 4, 2011. Between 200 and 270 migrants fleeing the conflict in neighbouring Libya went missing on June 2 off of Tunisia, while nearly 600 others were rescued alive after their boat capsized. AFP PHOTO / HAFIDH (Photo credit should read HAFIDH/AFP)

Some Nigerian returnees from Libya have narrated their experiences in the hands of Libyan officials.

Scores of Nigerians travel to Libya daily with the hope of landing in Europe by boat through the Mediterranean.

An average of 109 Nigerians arrived in Italy daily in 2016 travelling the risky route.

A lot more are, however, still trapped in Libya.

Some of the returnees appealed to federal and state governments to provide job opportunities for Nigerian youth to prevent them from endangering their lives looking for greener pasture abroad.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Lagos, that they decided to leave the country because they were jobless.

They said that they travelled to Libya with the hope of crossing to Europe through the Mediterranean in search of jobs.

The returnees were among the 161 Nigerians who returned voluntarily from Libya on February 14.

They were assisted back home by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) after being detained for several months in Libyan detention facilities.

They arrived in Lagos singing songs of praise and beaming with smiles, thanking their creator for bringing them safely home.

One of the returnees, Bridget Akeama, an indigene of Anambra, said her parents decided to send her to Italy when all hope of securing job after her school proved abortive.

Ms. Akeama, who said she left Nigeria in August last year, returned with four months pregnancy.

Also Read: From Libya With Tears: Story of Trafficked Nigerian Woman

She said she was arrested while trying to cross to Italy from Libya by immigration officials.

Ms. Akeama said: “Ever since then, I have been moved from one prison to another until I was taken to detention camp in Tripoli.

“We were subjected to inhuman treatment while in prison, from the food we eat to the water we drink.

“Most of the young ladies in detention camp were raped by Libyan officials and if you refused their advances, it will be hell for you.

“Thank God I am back in Nigeria, I know all hope is not lost but it is painful that I will begin from scratch again with my unborn child.”

Stanley Iduh, 34-year-old indigene of Delta, said that he was tricked by an agent popularly known as “Burger, that he would facilitate his journey to Spain through Libya.

He said that when his hope of crossing into Spain was dashed in Libya, he decided to stay back and work in the Arab country.

“I worked in Tile producing company and their salary was good but unfortunately I cannot save my money in the bank.

“I lived with other Nigerians. I dug a hole in the ground to save my money.

“Unfortunately, one day, some Libyans came, kidnapped us and inflicted punishment on us.

“They asked us to call our relations back in Nigeria and tell them to send N300,000 as our ransom.

“The $200,000 dollars that I saved, disappeared; they moved us to another place until we got to detention camp.

“Nigerians should be discouraged from travelling to Libya because they are not treating us like human beings.

“Our ladies were dehumanised by Libyan officials, it is very painful,” he said.

Mr. Iduh, who said he sold the house left by his late father before travelling to Libya, urged the federal and state governments as well as wealthy Nigerians to create job for the youths.

“It was because I was jobless for three years that I was cajoled to travel abroad to look for greener pasture.

“I am back in the country after eight months, devastated and humiliated.

“I have gone to look for greener pasture but here I am today; I have brought nothing green back home,” he said with tears running in his cheek.

Paul and Marvellous Isikhuemhen are twin brothers who travelled to Libya in March and May 2016 respectively in search for greener pasture.

Marvellous told NAN that they regretted travelling out of the country because of the bitter encounter they had in Libya.

He said that though they secured a good job in a publishing house in Libya, “it was suffering and smiling’’ until they were given the opportunity to return home through the IOM.

Mr. Isikhuemhen urged the Nigerian government to stop young ladies from travelling to Libya, saying they were molested by Libyan immigration officials.

He said that most Nigerian ladies bribe Nigerian Immigration Officers to secure travel documents to travel to Libya.

Mr. Isikhuemhen added that most of the children brought back home by these ladies had no fathers.

“I can boldly tell you that the children you are seeing in their hands and those pregnant ladies are products of Libya immigration officers,” he said.


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  • Epsilon_Delta

    Who will venture into an Islamic war theater and not get battered?

    • musa aliyu

      There’s nothing Islamic here Mr. Isalm-hater! The fools had enough money to start up businesses here but they decided to endanger themselves looking for Awuf! Edon run there belle now. Serves them right

  • Apostel

    Stanley Iduh worked in a Tile producing company in Libya and safed $200,000 dollars? How much was your monthly Salary?
    If you earn so much money in Libya why you like to go to Europe?
    Most of those people are liars and criminals, that’s fact.

    • Broadway2

      Maybe Libyan dollars?

  • musa aliyu

    Na una sabi. We wey remain here no need better treatment? Una suppose go back to una Atlantic ocean. E dey hungryam to chop una rotten heads. Mtchewww!!!!

  • wonderboi

    Watch out for more HIV victims from some of these deportee, the dreaded Islamic war ravage country is full of hard drug users HIV/AIDS psychopath who do not give a dam about some of these black traveler who are seeking greener pasture across the sea,, the Islamic extermist are ready to inflict pain on people who have contrary view about life

  • Broadway2

    I was really sweating while reading this!!! No place like home.

  • Anabs Francis

    Surrender your life to Jesus Christ Today and receive his peace that pass all human understanding

    Matthew 11:28,
    Mark 8:36,
    John 10:10
    Philippians 4:6-8

    Its not too late sir, you can still make it right today by accepting the love, peace and eternity that Jesus Christ is offering you.
    John 3:16-17

    Always know this, Jesus knows all about your sorrows, he is willing to give you all that you desire and many more, if you wish, Matthew 6:31-33, Ephesians 3:20

    He has a better plan and taught for you and I and so whatsoever, the devil is offering is counterfeit 3 John 2-5,
    Jeremiah 29:11.

    Stay blessed brother, I love you with the love of God and I pray that you soul be preserved by the blood of Jesus today, in Jesus name, Amen

  • Rommel

    Are they expecting sympathy from me? never, Jesus said this of evil ‘ Flee’ he did not say run but flee from evil and here are these people running to embrace evil in Libya expecting mercy,it is obvious that nothing can be done to stop human stupidity

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    The fact is that good for those returnees who have experienced rape,abuse and ill-treatment in the hands of smugglers who operate between Libya and through mediterranean sea en-route to Italy,Europe.Libya, is not a consular office and those who traveled to Libya, in order to get smuggled to Italy, deserved whatever the terrible experience they go through.Most of the women among them ended up as prostitutes, on Italian-cities-streets every night to make money in order to pay their smuggler-in-chiefs.Thousands of those ill-travelers died in rickety-boats between Libyan-mediterranean sea and Europe and their corpses were never recovered from the sea.
    Any university graduates that are unemployed should sign up and learn some trade as apprentices, and at the end they would be able to get some support from the Federal Government program to establish and practice their trades.There is no more office employment or jobs in the banks anymore worldwide.
    Welders,surveyors,quantity-surveys,taylors,mechanics,re-wire,etc are good apprentices trades that graduates can choose from instead of living a hopeless life or riskying going to Libya, to risk their lives being smuggled through rickety boats to Europe.

  • 678

    There is no hope without Jesus Christ! He’s the giver of peace and abundant blessing.

  • imagine_2012

    Back to the zoo.

  • Comfortkay

    I feel sorry for our people that wants to go abroad through Libya and very interesting is that despite the crisis in Libya its citizen remain loyal and stay at home but Nigerian always on the move because of our greedy wealthy men and women and when PDP took over in 1999 till they were crushed out of power over 1 million has left Nigeria and the democracy has not been a blessing for Nigerian.