© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
‘They refused to deport us’ – Nigerians in Libyan cell cry for help
A group of Nigerian migrants in captivity in Libya have cried out to the Nigerian government and the international community to rescue them.
In a video which has gone viral on the social media, they said their location was the Libyan city of Termosfar, and that the owner of the cell is a man known as Osama Sawiya. A voice in the video noted that it was shot on July 7, 2018.
“We have been here for five months now,” he said. “They refused to deport us. We’ve told them that we want to go back to Africa, but they refused to deport us.
“They don’t want us to go to Europe, and also they don’t want us to go back to our country.
“So many people here have skin disease and people are dying. Two people died today. This is the food that we are eating here,” he said, showing a loaf of bread.
Another inmate with a cloth tied round his head to partly mask his face takes over from the initial narrator. “This is the food we eat here, morning and night. Please we need rescue, come and help us out of this situation we are facing now.
“People die everyday. As we are talking now, this morning, three people died here. We need help please.
“People like E.A Adeboye, Winners – Oyedepo, please, you people should come and help us. Our president, you people should come and help us.”
Both narrators begged: “the Nigerian government, Apostle Suleiman, T.B Joshua, please you people should help us so that we can come back home.”
One broke into tears, saying: “we are suffering here, we are dying here. Please you people should help us. They are keeping us here for business. Please, we want to go back home, we want to go back to Nigeria.
“As you can see,so many of us we are hiding our faces because if they know that we did something like this, it’s a big problem in this our cell.
“The United Nations should do something about this, they should look into the matter. Please do something. The Nigerian government please do something.”
Watch the video here, as shared on facebook by Patrick Okigbo III:
Thousands of Nigerian migrants have been repatriated to the country by the International Organisation for Migration, but many are still believed to be held in the crisis-torn Libya.
Illegal African migrants attempt to go to Europe through Libya by crossing the Mediterranean sea. Thousands have died while undertaking the dangerous journey.
Some of the returnees had shared gory stories of inhuman treatment and torture at the hands of human traffickers in the detention facilities in Libya.
An undercover investigation by CNN had exposed how migrants were sold as slaves for as low as $400.