A physically challenged tailor in Benin city of Edo state Frank Obeahon has narrated his experience on how he got stranded in Libya after a failed attempt to migrate to Europe.
Sharing the experience in an interview with the punch, Frank said;
“I was at the Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma studying Economics, but dropped out of school in 2013 after spending just a year, because my parents could no longer afford to train me. The situation was worsened by the fact that my mum and dad were separated before that time; it became difficult for me.
There was no one to sponsor my education. I was stressing myself in the school environment trying to see if I could train myself, but I discovered it was not working, so, that was how I made up my mind to travel out of the country for greener pastures. I left with four of my friends but unfortunately for me, the sojourn was not successful.
Like I said earlier, I left Nigeria with four of my friends by road from Nigeria to Libya. The journey was rough but because my mind was made up, I decided to face the difficult situation. It was stressful travelling on road from Nigeria to Libya, and when we got there, I discovered that I was no longer living a free life unlike the situation in Nigeria. I felt I was living in a dangerous environment. Libya was not my destination; I had intended to proceed to Italy. I became stranded in Libya because I did not have money with me to proceed to Italy.
At some points, my other four friends left Libya, because their parents sent money to them. Some went beyond Italy to Germany, Holland, and the United Kingdom. Sadly, I spent eight months in Libya before I made up my mind to return to Nigeria.
I was never free in Libya the way I am in Nigeria. I was always living in fear because the moment you are identified as a stranger, there will be no trust at all. You cannot just go out freely the way you do in Nigeria.
Firstly, the change of environment brought about health issues and I did not have a good place to lay my head at night. I did not sleep comfortably for eight months. Again, the kind of job I was doing was risky. I was selling drugs for someone from the Middle East. It was a dangerous job, but I needed to survive, because I was only thinking of how to raise money to continue with my journey.
Most people that found themselves in Libya never expected that they would stay there. It is more like a transit country where migrants proceed to Europe, which is their destination. But they get stuck when they cannot raise funds to continue with their trip to Europe. Libya is an easy route to Europe through the sea, that is why most desperate Africans, who want to go to Europe, pass through there; it is a better route than Morocco. There are a lot of Nigerians and other citizens from Africa who are trapped in Libya.” He said.
The 30 year old Frank is from from Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State.