World Affairs



I have gone through tales of horrors some Libya returnees passed through I have to share in this article. I felt emotional over these horrors almost to the point of shedding tears; even though one can rightly argue that these returnees put themselves in the situations voluntarily. The truth is, no one completely knows tomorrow, none of them had envisioned how their journey would turn out to be, or that it would end disastrously for them. They had a goal, to get to Europe at any means, and so dedicated themselves (even lost their lives) to this enterprise. Below are the experiences of survived returnees they shared on social media—a serious deterrent for others considering the Libya-Europe routes:

This is a narration from a man (name withheld) who travelled to Libya with his wife and their ordeals:

“I travelled with my wife through Kano. From Kano we went to Alghadez, Saba, Tripoli and Sabescerine. When we got to Tripoli, I paid N1 million to somebody for myself and my wife for the Mediterranean Sea crossing to Italy but we ended staying there for over one year there. And to make matters worse, there was no money because there was no work. I always called my brother in Nigeria to help us with some to eat. That country is a disaster; they enjoy killing blacks, especially Nigerians. About 59 Nigerians were shot dead in my presence. One of my friends was shot on the leg and the leg was amputated. They pushed me and my wife into the boat to cross the sea but Libyan militia arrested us and took us to prison. I called my brother in Nigeria who sent money to us. I gave the militia the money and we were released from prison. We waited for our man to come and push us again across the sea but while we were waiting, the militia boys came again and started shooting. People started running and I could not escape with my wife carrying our baby, so we surrendered and they took us to prison. Some people, who tried to run away, were shot dead. We spent two weeks in the prison and it was there that we registered and they returned us to Nigeria. And what these Libya people always did was that whenever the United Nations people came, they will quickly take out some Nigerians and hide them in another prison, so that they will not register them and take them home. They do this because they want to be using those people to collect money from families in Nigeria. And in that prison they don’t feed you. And they will beat the hell out of you whenever you fail to bring money from you relations. That place is hell on earth.”

Migrants boat capsing off Libya coast

Another returnee—a lady—shared her experience (name withheld):

“I travelled to make money. I spent seven months. Every day was like war in Libya, they used us as slaves because they hate black people. I borrowed N600, 000 to pay to the woman who helped me.   I stayed in the camp for months hoping they will push us across the sea but no way. They kept telling us that the sea was not calm. But we were arguing that other camps had been pushing people across but it was later we heard that those who were pushed across are being arrested on the seas. I had wanted to come back earlier but whenever I thought about the money I had spent in the journey, I said I would go on. And the truth is that it was not a journey you could easily get a vehicle that will bring you back. You cannot survive passing through the Sahara desert twice, so when you pass it once, you cannot come back because it is death. Gangs shoot indiscriminately and kidnap people to make money. And when you are arrested, you could be used as slaves. The people who were even supposed to help me cross the sea ate my money and they were asking me to tell my people to bring more money from Nigeria.” 

Sex-Slave Auction in a camp in Libya

This is a horrible tale of sex-slavery, murdering, trafficking and much worse. I will continue this article in next edition.

I say this: Europe is no paradise, you can create your paradise anywhere. Bye for now