Omoniyi is an indigene of Lagos State. She left her father and loved ones at 17 in her quest for a life filled with roses. And without a blink or two, she cleaved to Libya, her newly found home.
Detailing her tales of woe upon her return to Nigeria, she reminisced about swindling her father to go seek greener pastures after falling for the pie crossed promises of human traffickers in Nigeria.
“I lost my mum at a tender age and was being cared for by my maternal relatives. I thought I was being mistreated so I ran away to meet my dad,” she narrated.
While with her father, Omoniyi recalled meeting up with a friend in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, who sold the idea of travelling to Libya where she could work and earn N120,000 per month. And because she was impulsive, she bought the idea.
In her words: “I deceived my dad that I wanted to establish a business and he gave me N800,000. I used it to travel to Libya through the desert.”
Unfortunately for her, she realised that the tale about Libya was fictitious. “I became a slave and prostitute. I’m not lying. I raised an equivalent of N2m as a whore to free myself from my trafficker,” she sniffled, wiping her tears.
Although she expressed desperation to reunite with her father, she said regrettably, “I have no idea where he is now. I lost his contact”.
Today, Omoniyi is ready to turn a new leaf. “I want to go back to school; I stopped at SS 2,” as she described the morales in Libya as acrid, sour and wasteful. “The lessons are very bitter. I wasted my life.
“I lost everything that I thought I could bring back home when our house was busted by the police. All of us were thrown into prison while we were disposed of our savings and property, the phone had my dad’s contact.
“I have to wait for the time that my transport allowance will be given before I can buy a phone and try to gamble with several numbers to know if I can get dad’s contact.”
While dissuading other young girls and boys against traveling to Libya, she urged them to appreciate what Nigeria has given to them at no cost. “Anyone thinking of travelling should forget it.”
Unfortunately, Omoniyi is among the second batch of 172 stranded Nigerians repatriated to the country by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday November 25 this year.
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) the returnees comprised 92 male adults, six male children, nine male infants, 53 female adults, 12 female children, and three female infants.
These returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja aboard Al Buraq Airline Boeing 737-400 with registration number 5A-WAC at 9.48pm or thereabouts.
Just like a few others, who acknowledged Nigeria as home indeed, Omoniyi crossed her heart and hoped to start all over.