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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Nigerian evacuees from Libya accuse govt of neglect

NEWS FEATURES
By Friday Nwosu
The Libyan returnees
No fewer than 150 angry Nigerian evacuees from war torn Libya yesterday disrupted activities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), following the continued non-arrival of their luggage three weeks after they arrived from Libya.

The Libyan returnees, who were visibly disenchanted over what they described as insensitivity of the Federal Government to their plight, vowed to halt air operations if nothing was done to bring home their luggage.

The placard carrying protesters, who marched about 2 kilometres from the hajj camp where they have been taking refuge, blocked the road leading to the departure hall of the airport terminal building, thereby preventing vehicles from coming into the terminal.

Chanting solidarity songs, the group appealed to the Federal Government to come to their aid, demanding for the transportation of their luggage from their transit camp in Tunis to Nigeria, adding that the luggage was all they could hold on to from their sojourn.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: ‘Please help us Nigerian Government, our luggage is our life,’ ‘We need our luggage FG’, ‘We are now refugees in our own country’.

A combined team of security personnel at the airport were seen battling to put the situation under control but the protesters maintained resistance.

“We are Nigerians now turned refugees in our own country. We want our luggage back or you fly us back to Libya to die,’’ the group said as they continue to chant solidarity songs.

One of the evacuees, John Agbi condemned the ill-treatment meted out on them by officials of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) over their plight.

He said the officials of NEMA were not telling them the true position of things, noting that the NEMA officials were shying away from their responsibility.

Agbi stated that the two weeks they had spent at the camp, NEMA officials only supplied them with food occasionally for the first week, while nothing had been given to them since then.

Another returnee, who identified herself as Sophia David, said, “ It is a pity coming home. All I have worked for in Libya is inside my luggage.’’

“Many of us are crying to go back instead of this treatment we are getting in our country. What a shame.

The Commissioner of Police in charge of the Airport Command, Mr Moses Onireti, while addressing the group, advised the evacuees to direct their protest to NEMA’s office and not at the airport.

“Government is doing everything possible to bring back your luggage. Please be patient,’’ Onireti appealed to the group.

Meanwhile, the Federal government said it would soon deploy a cargo aircraft to airlift luggage and baggage of returnees from Libya who were evacuated from Tunisia to Lagos International Airport through the assistance of International Organisation for Migration (IOM)/ United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The cargo flight, according to a statement issued yesterday by NEMA Head of Public Relations, Yushau A. Shuaib as an intervention measure by the government, would be tenable after securing all necessary cooperation and diplomatic clearances from those countries involved and the international bodies responsible for the recent evacuation.

“While the international bodies responsible for the evacuation deserved commendations for their efforts in bringing back our citizens, it should be noted that the National Emergency Management Agency is only responsible for the documentations and transportation of the returnees on arrival in the country,” the statement read in part.

SOURCE: SUN

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Editor's Mail

Love the article on Gaddafi
We must rise above tribalism & divide & rule of the colonialist who stole & looted our treasure & planted their puppets to lord it over us..they alone can decide on whosoever is performing & the one that is corrupt..but the most corrupt nations are the western countries that plunder the resources of other nations & make them poorer & aid the rulers to steal & keep such ill gotten wealth in their country..yemen,syria etc have killed more than gadhafi but its not A̷̷̴ good investment for the west(this is laughable)because oil is not in these countries..when obasanjo annihilated the odi people in rivers state, they looked away because its in their favour & interest..one day! Samosa Iyoha

Hello from
Johannesburg
I was amazed to find a website for Africans in Hungary.
Looks like you have quite a community there. Here in SA we have some three million Zimbabweans living in exile and not much sign of going home ... but in Hungary??? Hope to meet you on one of my trips to Europe; was in Steirmark Austria near the Hungarian border earlier this month. Every good wish for 2011. Geoff in Jo'burg

I'm impressed by
ANH work but...
Interesting interview...
I think from what have been said, the Nigerian embassy here seem to be more concern about its nationals than we are for ourselves. Our complete disregard for the laws of Hungary isn't going to help Nigeria's image or going to promote what the Embassy is trying to showcase. So if the journalists could zoom-in more focus on Nigerians living, working and studying here in Hungary than scrutinizing the embassy and its every move, i think it would be of tremendous help to the embassy serving its nationals better and create more awareness about where we live . Taking the issues of illicit drugs and forged documents as typical examples.. there are so many cases of Nigerians been involved. But i am yet to read of it in e.news. So i think if only you and your journalists could write more about it and follow up on the stories i think it will make our nationals more aware of what to expect. I wouldn't say i am not impressed with your work but you need to be more of a two way street rather than a one way street . Keep up the good work... Sylvia

My comment to the interview with his excellency Mr. Adedotun Adenrele Adepoju CDA a.i--

He is an intelligent man. He spoke well on the issues! Thanks to Mr Hakeem Babalola for the interview it contains some expedient information.. B.Ayo Adams click to read editor's mail
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