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Love Does Not Survive The Road To Libya - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Love Does Not Survive The Road To Libya by smilek(m): 9:35pm On Dec 01, 2017

He could not believe it. She got to Italy before him. They were engaged. She threaded the same dangerous path where he saw countless passports of dead migrants. All of whom were erased from memory as they were from life.

He could not believe after he warned his family to warn her to stay put, that the road to Italy via Libya was a death trap only fitting for suicidal adventurers, she till came.

Why did she insist? How did she make it? The night he was to take off on the inflated balloon boat, she was told. But he could not make it that night, he was too fearful of the sea. In Nigerian parlance, we say: liver cut am. His morale failed him.

He took his failed liver back into town where he was kidnapped the second time. The first time was just as bad. The agent fled when some frightening men wielding Kalashnikov came for them. He would endure beatings, blows, kicks, whippings, especially on the sole of his feet for many days, until his family sent 250,000 through a proxy for his release.

For many nights he thought about the calamitous decision to embark on that trip. When he refused to step into that boat, he thought about returning to Nigeria. And then recalled that it was just as suicidal to do so. He remembered the many dead he saw in the desert. Nameless, all nameless, stripped of both dignity and names.

He had spent his first 400,000 Naira on the trip getting a Bene Republic. passport as he was advised. So he knew many of those passports he saw lying on desert sands bore names of men whose real names no longer existed.

His second trip in the hands of his kidnappers was just as despicable. He wept to his family, so much that his cries became the source of a family fracas. Everyone blamed his sister who encouraged him to make the trip. Those who told him that his N1 million would give him a fighting chance back home treated his pleas with scorn. They would not be bothered by a stubborn grasshopper that got hit by a train.

His sister would fork out another N170,000 to free him from his abductors den. That very day, he called his family, thanked them and asked for prayers. If fate desired it so, he had accepted to die in the water than returning to Nigeria via the same route.

The coast guards had gone to prayers, and their smugglers quickly got them into the inflatable boats, and they set sail. It was then that the horrors of dying at sea hit him. The boat swung from side to side, dancing to the dangerous rhythm of the water.

He said that at some point, the stench of dead bodies filled the air. A foul and notoriously putrid stench. It was simply hard to breathe. A woman lost her baby on the boat, and couldn’t get herself, despite the yelling from fellow passengers, to dump the baby in the sea.

“The baby is dead, Madam? Should we make it to Italy, what are you going to do with a dead baby over there?”
She sobbed. Everyone else was too tired to cry. Every man carried with them after all, an unspeakable scar, a tragic story that stupefied them.

Alas, they would finally see the Italian coast guards patrolling the water. It was then they began to weep again. It was then they knew, that although they had come in contact with death, they would have to die another day.

So when he called from the asylum camp to report that he was now in Italia, his family informed him that his fiancé followed suit not long after he took off. He asked, what route, and they told him the same Libyan route. Turned out, she made the passage at time he was kidnapped the second time.

“She too is somewhere in one of the camps over there. We spoke with her. Can you contact her?” His sister asked him.

“Contact who? I begged you guys to warn her not to come. I swear, if truly she made it through the same very route which I witnessed with my eyes, I want nothing to do with her again. No woman makes it out of there without a collection of beastly men passing though her over and over again.”
He hung up the phone.

*Story as narrated to me by the sibling of a Nigerian migrant who journeyed the deadly Libyan route to Italy.

By Mitterand Okorie (01. Dec. 17)
Re: Love Does Not Survive The Road To Libya by PsiData: 11:41pm On Dec 01, 2017

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