Libya Returnees Reject Edo Govt N1000 Transport Fares

Governor Obaseki receiving a batch of earlier Edo returnees from Libya

Anger among the 315 Edo State returnees from Libya heightened yesterday, and came to the fore when they rejected the N1000 transportation fares given to them by the Edo State government.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the returnees had on Tuesday protested the non-payment of stipend as transport fare to their homes within the state.

Some of the returnees, who were moved to Benin after their arrival in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were seen grumbling over the amount, which they claimed was too small to take them home. Another returnee, Gabriel Edokpaigbe, said it would be shameful for him to return back to his father's house after he had sold his belongings to travel to Europe.

While describing the protest as unexpected, Omorogbe said that the N5,000 was approved by the state government to enable them to get to their various destinations.

Ogwezzy said that the returnees arrived the state on Saturday and the state government had been taken care of them since then. "We were working in Libya, but the police told us that our government said our country is good now".

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Meanwhile, special adviser on worldwide affairs, Dr. Genevieve Modi, who received the returnees, said State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has given directive for the immediate rehabilitation of the returnees.

This is just as several persons stormed the premises of the Benin Motel Plaza where the returnees are lodged, to find their lost relatives. They peeped through the fence. "Edo state has a stipend programme of N20,000 each for the returnees for three months and does not give money on arrival", he said.

Efosa Clifford, 43, said he spent over N1.3 million on his failed trip to Europe.

Another man said he visited the hotel each time he heard Nigerians returned from Libya to search for his daughter.

Okafor Abraham, who hails from Umunede in Ika North-East, said he joined the movement to Libya in November 2016 having paid N150,000.00.

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