Nbr — A total of 244 Gambian youths deported from Libya arrived in Farrafenni on Wednesday.
The deportees were received upon arrival at the Kerr Ayup Border Post by the governor of the North Bank Region, Lamin Queen Jammeh; the regional Immigration commissioner, Cherno Nyassi; and other security chiefs.
They were later escorted to the Farafenni Youth Centre where they underwent medical check-up and screening.
Speaking to the Daily Observer shortly after the arrival of the deportees, Governor Jammeh thanked the government of The Gambia for the strong move and concern for the welfare of Gambian youths.
He said the country relies on its youths as they serve as a valuable asset. He also advised the youths and their parents to avoid the illegal journey, which he described as risky.
For his part, Cherno Nyassi, the commissioner of Immigration in the North Bank Region, said all the deportees were cooperative during the course of the screening exercise. He thanked the government of The Gambia and the International Migration Organisation (IMO), who collected the deportees from the Libyan border town of Buruk via Niger to The Gambia.
Superintendent Essa Jawara, the public relations officer of the Gambia Immigration Department, also advised the young people to desist from such illegal journeys, adding that there are lots of opportunities in the country which the young people can make best use of.
Assan Gaye, a 29-year-old man and one of the deportees, who said he is a resident of Farato village in the West Coast Region, described the journey as 'very risky'. He said that at every checkpoint on their way, they had to pay 10,000 CFA. He added that he spent over D30, 000 on the way before being deported back home.
Muhammed Lamin Jane, another deportee and a native of Kombo Pirang, also described the journey as a 'terrible experience'.