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Photos: Another 159 stranded Nigerians repatriated from Libya

Libyan authorities on Thursday flew a total of 159 Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya, in the second voluntary repatriation operation. This comes after 162 stranded Nigerians whose bid were to travel to Europe from Libya were all flown back to Nigeria last month. The Nigerians, pictured in tracksuits and sneakers, were driven to the airport near the Libyan capital in two buses.

‘I wish I could go to Europe but I can’t,’ said a woman called Faith, carrying a baby in her arms.

‘I’m happy to be going home,’ said another Nigerian woman.

Speaking to AFP at Mitiga airport, Badreddine Ben Hamed, head of Libya’s anti-illegal immigration force, said the Libyan government ‘In coordination with the IOM (International Organization for Migration), we are repatriating 159 Nigerians, including three infants.

The returnees arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 6pm on a chartered Nouvel Air aircraft. They were received at the Hajj Camp by NEMA officials and other agencies who carried out various exercises to facilitate their integration into the Nigerian society before being aided to their respective destinations.

Addressing newsmen, Dr Onimode Bandele, Director, Search and Rescue, NEMA, said various agencies were on ground to welcome the returnees to their fatherland.

“We have three medical cases on board; one is paralysis, the other one is a psychiatric problem, while the third is a minor injury which has been taken care of with the effort of the IOM doctors and the Port Health Authority” he said.

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