The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has given state governments 48 hours to evacuate their Libya returnees from its centre in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The South-South Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Martins Ejike, made this known to journalists on Sunday when the third batch of 560 Nigerian returnees from Libya arrived Port Harcourt.
Ejike said that the returnees, comprising 540 adult and 20 infants, arrived the airport on board Max Air, with registration No: 5N-HMM at about 11:52 p.m.
He expressed dissatisfaction over poor response of some state governments in evacuating the Libyan returnees from the reception centre in the state, noting that some states especially in the South-West failed to abide by the directives on the evacuation process.
Ejike said that the choice of Port Harcourt airport as evacuation route was based on proximity to the most affected states.
“A graphic showed that Edo State alone recorded 309 out of 484 migrants; the record also showed that over 80 per cent of the returnees were indigenes of Edo and Delta states.
“It is more convenient for the largely affected states to evacuate their returnees from Port Harcourt,” he said.
Mr Muhammad Dahiru, the Public Relations Officer of Max Air, also said that the airline was competent to convey 1,680 returnees if passengers were cleared without delays.
Dahiru said that the airline deployed three aircraft with a capacity of 560 each for the operation, adding that speedy operation can be actualised if passengers documentation and clearance are not delayed.
One of the returnees, Mr Paul Eke, who thanked the federal government on ensuring smooth return of migrants, said that the measure showed government’s commitment to its citizens.
Eke also urged the government to continue its rescue process to the hinterland in the Libyan states where some Nigerians were being imprisoned and unjustly tortured.
“I urge our federal government to do more by rescuing some Nigerians who are still trapped in some interior parts of Libya.
“I stayed in Zawe Superata, this place is like an exit point to Italy and so many Nigerians are still being imprisoned there,” Eke alleged.