A Nigerian deportee who just arrived from Libya has given a startling confession at T.B. Joshua’s Church in Lagos, painting an alarming picture of the death toll of African migrants seeking to illegally enter Europe.
Efe Alimi, an Edo State indigene, revealed how he had participated in the mass burial of 5,300 bodies in a single day on the Libyan shore, decomposing remains of those who had drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
“Most of the bodies washed up on the shore had decayed. When we picked them up, their flesh peeled away to the bone. Some were without ears, eyes or Bosom s. All were my African brothers and sisters,” he recollected in a shocking revelation posted to T.B. Joshua’s official Facebook Page.
According to Alimi, the bodies were dumped into a mass grave, crushed by excavators and then covered by the Libyans who had picked him and a group of other migrants to do the “dirty job”.
Alimi travelled to the North African nation via Niger in 2013. 29 embarked on the dangerous journey through the Sahara Desert but only 9 reached Libya.
“I actually buried 20 people in the desert,”Alimi recalled, adding that he only survived by drinking urine after they were stranded for five days without food or water.
After an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Italy in 2017, he was imprisoned in an underground dungeon for one year before the intervention of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), who facilitated his return to Nigeria.
Another deportee, Johnson Imonigie, equally shared distressing details of how the makeshift boat he was in capsized en route to Italy. 121 were on board and 87 drowned.
Even prior to his attempt to cross the ocean, Johnson had been kidnapped and sold into slavery three times in Libya.
During his incarceration, one of his close friends was beaten to death in his presence.
“They decided to beat me on my manhood,” he vividly recalled. “I can’t even begin to describe the pain. I was there the day they hit my friend there so hard he actually died.”
On Tuesday 5thJune 2018, 171 Nigerians were voluntarily deported from Libya, over 90 of them deciding to visit Joshua’s famed Church in search of aid.
Hearing their plight, Joshua and his ‘Emmanuel TV Partners’ gave the group N3m ($8,500) to help them start their lives afresh in Nigeria.
The news comes on the heels of the United Nations imposing sanctions on six leaders of human trafficking networks in Libya.