We Can’t Trace Our Families – Nigerians Deported From United Kingdom

41 Nigerians, deported from the United Kingdom
(UK), arrived Lagos on Wednesday.

The chartered Airbus 330 aircraft that brought
them landed at the Murtala Muhammed
International Airport at about 8am. It was learnt
that they were deported for alleged immigration

Before their arrival, the National Emergency
Management Agency, NEMA, had informed that
about 83 deportees were being expected, and
that some of them who had not completed their
prison sentences would be handed over to the
Nigeria Prison Service to complete the terms.

However, eight females and 33 males, mostly
Yoruba, Edo and Igbo, were received by Dr.
Bandele Onimode, Deputy Director, Search and
Rescue, who represented NEMA Director General.
On arrival, the deportees were served breakfast
and later interrogated to determine their states of
origin so that they can be assisted to locate their
relatives where necessary

Nigerian deportees from Uk, on their arrival at the
Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos…
yesterday. Photo Lamidi Bamidele
The Nigeria Immigration Service was said to have
profiled the deportees although their identities
were not disclosed.

One of them, 37, and Yoruba, said he left Nigeria
about 17 years ago and had lost touch with
home. According to him, he put resources
together to travel to the UK but could not raise the
money to process stay papers. He then began to
engage in illegal activities until he ran out of luck.
Another deportee, Igbo, who said his parents
were Lagos-based before he left for greener
pastures, said he might not be able to trace the
parents because he learnt they had relocated

An aged deportee woman, who claimed she left
Nigeria some decades back, said he had lost
touch with her relatives, including her children.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that many of the
deportees had used fictitious names in their
documentation as they were ashamed to reveal
their identities because of stigma.

Those who could locate their Nigerian addresses
were aided to return home while those who could
not were taken to rehabilitation centers.

NEMA Information Officer, Ibrahim Farinloye, said
the agency was yet to ascertain why the number
of the deportees was 41 instead of 83. Also, he
said none of the deportees was a prisoner as
earlier stated by the United Kingdom authorities.

“They told us that 83 were coming but on arrival
it was 41. This is humanitarian evacuation and
many things could have happened at the last
minute that may lead to increment or decrease in
the number of the people. We work on information
made available to us,” said Farinloye
Asked why the deportees’ names were not
released, he said, “The Nigeria Immigration
Service did the profiling and the names are not
made public because of their security and social

Apart from NEMA, the Nigeria Immigration
Service, Nigeria Police and aviation security
personnel were on ground to receive the

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