A fresh batch of 171 stranded Nigerian returnees from Libya have arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos.
It would be recalled that two batches of 186 returnees had arrived last week through the Assisted Voluntary Returnees programme of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The returnees, who arrived via the cargo terminal of MMIA, were handed over to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the presence of other relevant government agencies.
The Buraq Airline flight with registration number 5A-DMG conveying the returnees arrived at about 8:25 pm on Tuesday.
They comprised 70 female adults including nine pregnant women, 90 male adults, three children and eight infants.
It was learnt that the voluntary returnees were brought from Zintan District of Libya with eight of them having minor health-related issues.
The South-West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alh. Yakubu Suleiman, who received the returnees, advised parents and guardians to desist from encouraging their children or wards to embark on such perilous journeys.
According to him, it is only by dint of good luck and God’s mercies that those embarking on such journey usually return.
Suleiman expressed disappointment that some parents support their children to go outside the country through illegal routes by selling their property to raise funds for the journey.
“We have been inundated with parents calling that they have lost contact with their children while many would continue to raise money from home and send to children who would have been held captive and must be settled before their children would be set free,” he said.
The coordinator appealed to the returnees to be anti-trafficking champions by disabuse the minds of those still trying to embark on such journey.
He added, “You have seen it all, experience is the best teacher, today, all of you are saying ‘you will never encourage any of your family members to travel outside wasting huge resources through illegal routes despite various risks and dangers you went through.
“I am begging you to also carry this message to the people you come across in life and share your experiences to discourage young people wasting their energies and productive life in seeking wealth.”