Libya is not a place to live - Returnee narrates how Nigerians do 'connection work'

Libya is not a place to live - Returnee narrates how Nigerians do 'connection work'

- A returnees has narrated her ordeal in Libya

- The returnee Chiamaka Onuoha said she was trying to relocate to Europe through Libya

- She said she passed through hell while trying to survive as a house help in Libya

One of the Nigerian returnees from Libya has narrated her ordeal while trying to find greener pasture in Europe through the North African country.

Chiamaka Onuoha said life was hell for her in Libya as she worked as a house girl for some Arabs to make ends meet.

She said she survived on left over foods and slept in a car garage everyday, all through her stay in Libya.

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Onuoha, a native of Isuochi in Abia state said she was already planning her return when she finally managed to get in contact with an Arab man Saheed Ameen who promised her marriage.

"During my courtship with this man, I encountered the worst challenge of my life. I suffered mental illness. It all started one night like a headache after I took some food," Onuoha said.

"Later a part of my face was deformed and got dried up. As if that was not enough, I became a destitute, picking things around the city.

"Everything I saw on the streets looked like money or valuables to me and I always had the urge to pick them. In short, I suffered madness. All through this time, I was deserted by people around," she said.

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The returnee said the man later abandoned her to her ailing self.

"At this point, I started thinking I would die in that country because one side of my body had already become deformed; one leg, an arm and one of my eyes were no more functioning," she said.

She said a medical team that came to her aid was unable to diagnose her ailment.

She was later healed after receiving treatment through the sponsorship of a christian organization in Libya.

The organization after her treatment advised her to approach the International Organization for Migration to facilitate her return to Nigeria.

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She said it was at this point she made up her mind to come back to Nigeria.

“When life in Libya became a hell for me in Libya, I decided to return to Nigeria and start life anew. Libya is not a good place to live in. As you will agree with me, our people travelled there to make money, but when we got there, what we saw was beyond our imagination. It was a life in hell!

“Our people are employed to do all sorts of dirty jobs by people who are in some dirty connections, which they call ‘Connection work’, which is another term for prostitution. Some of them also work with the Arab people as house maids to earn a living.”

“Our people in Libya suffer a lot. They cannot move freely like in Nigeria. Our women usually stay indoors. It is only our men that go out to work. They are using the laws laid down by Gaddafi to make life difficult for foreigners," she said.

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Onuoha further called on the Nigerian government to make policies that will discourage or prevent Nigerians from traveling to the North African country.

"Government should stop our people from going to Libya because that place is hell. I came back by joining those prisoners scheduled to be deported to Nigeria," she added. earlier reported that 262 Nigerians voluntarily returned from Libya.

These Nigerian returned aboard a chartered Libyan Airline aircraft at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos at 10 pm on Wednesday, July 26.

They returned through the help of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Nigerian Embassy in Libya.

You can watch this video of ex-prisoner becoming an advocate for former inmates in China Prison:


Nnenna Ibeh avatar

Nnenna Ibeh Nnenna Ibeh is a journalist with over 10 years of experience with various media organisations including Premium Times. Being on the front burner of reporting politics and the different dimensions of governance, she is also passionate about girls' education and women's and children's health. With degrees in Journalism, Peace Studies & Conflict Res., and Dev. Studies, Nnenna has worked in the dev. sector as a communications officer for the Centre for Democracy and Dev. email:

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