The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday received about 111 Nigerians returnees from crisis-torn Libya Republic at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, from International Organisation of Migration (IOM).
Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, while receiving the returnees, urged them to consider the trauma and hardship that they have gone through in the foreign land and avail themselves of the abundant opportunities in Nigeria.
Sidi, who was represented by the Agency's South West Zonal Coordinator, Mr. Iyiola Akande, pointed out that despite the achievement one makes in a foreign land, one is still considered as second-class citizen.
He, therefore, enjoined them to consider their return as a challenge and to forge a way forward towards starting a new life.
On the complaints of some of the returnees that little was done by the government to safeguard distressed Nigerians during the Arab Spring, he reiterated that NEMA and Nigerian Embassies in the troubled and neighbouring countries mobilized resources to evacuate Nigerians by deploying all available mass media to reach to them and those who turned up were repatriated to Nigeria.
He went further to explain that humanitarian principle does give room for forceful evacuation if such individuals were not willing, stating that most of the recent returnees may have been residing at the remotest parts of Libya where they did not have access to the mass media.
The breakdown of the present exercise indicates that 47 male adult, 52 female adult, four male underage and eight female underage returnees boarded Flight ADMG 1915 from Tripoli, Libya to Nigeria.
Earlier, on March 7, 2011 at the peak of crises in some parts of North Africa, NEMA, in collaboration with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and other partners repatriated 991Nigerians from Egypt and Tunisia while on February 27 this year, 292 Nigerians were brought back from Libya.
Also, 423 Nigerian returnees were received by NEMA at the border town of Gamboru-Ngala in Borno State in four batches in 2011.
So far, over 3,111 Nigerians have been brought home following the Arab Spring by NEMA and other international and national humanitarian organizations.