Some Europe-bound Nigerians, who were deported as migrants, have shared their tales of survival and narrow escape from death.
The migrants recounted how out of thirst, they drank water from a well with dead body inside and nearly suffocated while hiding in a truck covered with watermelons as camouflage and witnessing teenage girls raped at gunpoint by their traffickers.
The survivors, who spoke at the Synagogue Church Of All Nations, SCOAN, in Lagos, during a live broadcast on Emmanuel Television, recounted distressing narratives of their journeys through the Sahara Desert, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea.
One of the migrants, Tracy Stephen from Edo State, gave horrific details of torture, abuse and starvation including drinking water from a well with a corpse inside, nearly suffocating while hiding in a truck covered with watermelons as camouflage and witnessing teenage girls raped at gunpoint by their traffickers.
“My attempt to reach Italy was almost fatal when the over-filled rubber dinghy I had boarded ran out of fuel.
“There were no life-jackets and none of us could swim. Children and babies were among the 140 crammed on-board.
“We were finally rescued by the Libyan Coast Guard and I was imprisoned for three months before being repatriated to Nigeria through the intervention of the International Organization for Migration, IOM, who subsequently provided a vehicle to bring the deportees to The SCOAN in recognition of the church’s humanitarian efforts.
“The experience is so bad a lady’s two children had to drink my urine to survive.
“I’m among the lucky ones who remained alive after over 3,600 other Europe-bound migrants lost their lives while trying to flee Africa,” the 23-year-old added.