Nigerian deportees relive horrible experiences in Libya at SCOAN
Live Sunday Service yesterday, at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Ikotu-Egbe, Lagos, was laced with thought provoking testimonies and life accounts of Nigerian deportees from Libya.
Business Hilights investigations have shown that for some time now, SCOAN has become the first point of call, recovery and psychological guidance counselling for several deportees coming back from parts of African countries, especially Libya.
Whereas Business Hilights reporters are still working on the total number of Nigerian deportees which have been resettled, empowered and reunited with their families in Nigeria since this year by SCOAN, the chilling accounts of some of the latest Libyan returnees at the Church on Sunday, November 19, 2017, and how they were individually empowered by the Man of God, Senior Prophet TB Joshua, were captured here-under.
Explaining their ordeals during the Church services, one of them (name with held) gave a touching analogy of how they were made to believe that going to Europe and especially Italy on land through Libya was an easy trip.
He said there are arrangers of the trip here in Nigeria and if you run into them, they will present the scenario as if it is that easy.
However, it doesn’t work as they arrangers do present it and that has been the magnet that draws young Nigerians both boys and girls into the shallows of death in Libya till today.
According to them, any of them that got deported must count him or herself lucky because “What we saw even from Kano, where we were loaded like Sardines before entering the desert will tell you that the story of going to Europe through Libya is not a pleasant one. What we were told while preparing is different from what we saw on the way”.
“From Kano State where we took off, we are jam-parked and forced to arrange and juxtapose ourselves inside the Hilux. We are up to 35 parked like Sardines on the back of the Hilux which ordinarily is for about five people.
We were severally attacked in the desert and the journey to the first city in Libya is deadly not everyone survives.
“We buy flours, they call it Bako we use it to mix and make fufu then we prepare stew and eat with it. So the next one, they came they said that we should go from Shogo. We went, not knowing where they were asking us to go to.
When we reached, it was a sea side. We saw about 80 bodies, dead bodies that died on the water. The colours of the dead bodies had already changed. They then told us that before we go to Italy, that they brought shovel that we should dig a hole, a pit and we should pack those bodies and bury it before we leave.
“That they are going to give us 900 dinars. We had no choice than to do the job with guns pointed at us.
We had to pack all those dead bodies, dig a pit, put them there and cover the sand. Till the next week, I couldn’t eat for even three days.
So the next week, they now put us inside a boat. My boat was containing 125 passengers. We were all sitting anyhow on the boat. Everybody was complaining inside the boat even men were complaining and women too complaining. It was a four hours drive from Supprata to Blue Sea where we met the rescue.
So, unfortunately we got to Blue Sea. When we got to Blue Sea, we saw the Italian rescue boat.
They have already rescued about 20 boats and they asked us to wait that they are going to offload those passengers and they will be coming back.
That was how they went.
Before you know it, in the next 30 minutes, the sea waves became stronger that it hit our boat and our boat capsized. Everybody drowned. Out of the 125 passengers, only 10 that could swim and I happened to be among the 10 people that could swim. It didn’t take long and the sea became calm again. Then we saw some fisher that men came with their boats and also the touts in the area also came. The touts, popularly known there as the Asma boys laid their hands on five of us, then the fishermen took the remaining five.
The Asma boys took us to their ghetto, and started flogging us that we should contribute money. There was a black Nigerian working with them. He gave us First Bank account that we should call our family back home in Nigeria to pay N100,000 which is 1000 dinars for us to be free, if not they will kill us and we have also seen those ones that have been killed already.
We had no choice than to make calls. My family, I left them in hardship with the plan that if I get to Europe in less than three weeks, from the information that I gathered that the allowance that I will be collecting will be 100 euros and I will be sending it. But today, there is no education in my family. But I thank God for the incident that happened. The day that I went to bury those dead bodies, that was the day that I knew that I was not going to die and that nothing is going to happen to me.
I hardened my heart that I am not even scared of the water. Then the day that I entered the water, I said God of my life, my children are there back home in Nigeria, and I am just trying to look for a way to improve their life and through this means, I feel that a lot of people have said that they have succeeded in getting to Europe.
Q: so what finally happened that you were deported back to Nigeria? What was last your encounter in the nation of Libya before you were finally deported back to Nigeria?
ANS: The last thing that happened was that after the Asma boys had maltreated us and have collected their ransom, they sold us to the policemen, and then the policemen sold us to Quirra prison. From Quirra prison, three months later, the Nigerian ambassador came there and told us that we will be deported in 10 days time, and in 10 days time, 134 persons were deported.
The rest about 260 persons remaining were not deported but were promised that they will come back next week for them. But at the end of the day, now that we are deported, they said that Trump gave them (Libya) an ultimatum to produce a President this year if not they are going to choose a president for them.
So, at the end of the day, the I.O.M and the U.N got involved and said that they have to deport all the blacks in Libya, if not they would suffer it. So we were all deported back to Nigeria. So when we came we said that we all have to come to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). We didn’t even inform them (the Church); we came on our own.
We did not notify them. But when we came, they received us, and have been taking care of us since we came and they also encouraged us and built our faith. I thought that I was coming to commit suicide, because my hope was lost. But I later had the opportunity to communicate with my family members, and then I had the hope that there is hope as long as one is still alive. So I really thank God.
Also, I really thank the Man of God for empowering us today with the sum of two hundred thousand naira each and we are going to start a new life in Nigeria.
We advise every Nigerian youth not to think of venturing or thinking of travelling to Europe through Libya or through land because all you will be told here in Nigeria will be different from what you will see. I thank the man of God, Emmanuel TV and their partners.