No fewer than 150 stranded Nigerians have been repatriated from Niamey, Niger Republic by the Federal Government.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, stated this while receiving the returnees at the Aminu Kano International Airport on Monday evening.
She said the exercise was conducted in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration and the Economic Community of West African States.
According to her, the returnees were brought back to Kano, under the care of the IOM and ECOWAS from Niger Republic.
Represented by the Director of Humanitarian Services of the Ministry, Alhaji Grema Ali, the minister explained that the programme was meant for the distressed Nigerians, who had left the country to seek greener pastures in various European countries, and could not afford to return when their journey became frustrated.
Recounting their ordeals, one of those repatriated, Amina Aliyu from Kano State said she traveled to Niger with her three kids and sister Zara’u Aliyu, to seek for greener pastures.
She said, “We intended to travel to Algeria but on our way, the driver dropped us in the Niger Republic. We really suffered without food and water. My husband ran away and left me with my kids for the past three years and my parents are old and poor so I had no option than to travel to seek greener pastures.”
Another returnee, Aminu Suleiman, from Yobe State said he traveled to Libya to seek greener pastures.
“I was a tailor before I left Yobe, I wanted to travel to Europe from Libya to seek greener pastures because I wanted to open a fashion academy in Nigeria,” he said.
The returnees were received by the National Emergency Management Agency, the State Emergency Management Agency, in collaboration with other sister security agencies.