When Emmanuel Keshi, a Delta State indigene, dropped out of school in August to look for a path in the desert that leads to Europe, he never could have imagined he would end up in Libya faced with circumstances that he would never have faced in Nigeria.

His has abandoned the dream of landing in Europe after a 50-50 journey through the Mediterranean Sea and has traced his way back.

Emmanuel was part of the 164 Nigerians that voluntarily returned from Libya on Friday morning.

Their return was facilitated by the the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU).

They arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 12.34 a.m local time on a chartered BURAQ airline with Registration Number 5A-DMG.


A happy Emmanuel lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering the evacuation of all Nigerians stranded in the volatile North African country.

He said: "I learnt that Buhari has directed the evacuation of all Nigerians from Libya.

"I thank the President for this because the boys (Nigerians) in Libya are really suffering and lacking human rights as they are being treated as animal.

"The President’s directive is very important because of the coming election in Libya.

"I don’t wish to hear that Nigerians are being used as human shield in clashes between the various Libyan groups in case of post-election violence over there".

Emmanuel and the other 163 persons were received on behalf of the Federal Government by the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Maihajja.

Mahaija, who was represented by the South West Zonal Coordinator of the agency, Suleiman Yakubu, gave the breakdown of the returnees as 155 male adults, five female adults and four children and infants.

He thanked the IOM and the EU for their humanitarianism and enjoined the returnees to learn from the bitter lessons they learned in the course of their unpalatable sojourn.

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Mahaija charged them to make use of the various schemes being put in place by the Federal and State governments to reintegrate themselves into the society.

“There’s no place like home and Nigeria is peculiar nation that God has endowed with bountiful resources that everyone can harness and prosper,” he added.

Also at the airport to receive the returnees were officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.