Nigerians are still in Libya. Some of them are stranded while some have opted for a voluntary return.

Their eyes must have been on getting to Europe but they could no longer bear the hardship they face in Libya.

At least 262 of those stranded have decided to return to Nigeria and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya came to their aid.

They returned to Nigeria on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the returnees arrived aboard a chartered Libyan Airlines aircraft with registration number 5A-LAR, which landed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at 10:00 p.m local time.

The returnees, who had been stranded in Libya, were made up of 108 males, 135 females, 8 children and 11 infants.

They were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and the Police.

Some officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria were also at the airport.

Migrants in Mediterranean Sea
Some Nigerians have died while taking the dangerous Mediterranean journey

Addressing reporters after formalities, the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, said the agency in collaboration with the IOM was working to ensure that Nigerians stranded in Libya would all return home.

The director general was represented by Mr Suleiman Yakubu, Zonal Coordinator, South West, NEMA.

 Also read: 35 Nigerian Migrants, Others Feared Dead Off Libya

Both the Federal Government and State governments had initiated various programmes to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees into the society.

He further advised Nigerians, especially the youth, to take advantage of the enormous opportunities available in the country.

This is coming few weeks after some Nigerians died off the cost of Libya on a dangerous boat journey to Europe.

A Nigerian hairdresser, Vivian Effoussa, who was one of the survivors of the boat mishap, described her experience as horrific.

Fellow passengers fell into the sea.

"The boat we entered was leaking," said Effoussa, who attempted crossing to Europe after struggling to support two children back home.

"All of a sudden... the water was (coming) inside. Everybody started shouting," she said, speaking in English.

"Gradually, gradually, we see ourselves inside the sea. Everybody, we were falling inside, dragging each other. They even pulled my hair, dragging me."