A recent Libyan returnee, Loveth Ekumabo who was one of the latest batches of rescued Nigerian immigrants who were repatriated to the country has confessed that constant rape by her own father made her decide to travel out of the country.
That decision ended in regrets as she was repeatedly raped, tortured, sold into slavery and now, she is back with a pregnancy for her rapists.
The 25-year-old Ekumabo who spoke to Punch at the returnees’ rehabilitation camp in Benin City, the Edo State capital, revealed that when she could no longer cope with her father’s incestuous behaviour, she fled for safety and met some traffickers who promised to take her to Europe to seek for greener pastures.
The mother of one who hails from Uhunwode Local Government Area of Edo State, recounted how she also became a victim of serial rape by Arab men as she tried to cross over to Europe, a move that turned out futile and almost took her life in the process.
She narrated that she spent seven months in the North African country before she could find her way back home to the anger of her family who insisted she should stay back in Libya and try to cross into mainstream Europe.
“After I exposed what my father wanted to do to me, a fight broke out at home and I had to run away for my safety,” Ekimabo began.
“I went to stay with my friend who introduced me to the man that helped people to Europe. I did not have any money, so, I was made to swear an oath in a shrine in Benin that I will pay back every kobo when I get to Europe.
We agreed that I will pay back N200,000. I left Benin for Kano in April 2017. From Kano, we were transported in a Hilux truck through the desert, with no food or water, to Agadez in the Niger Republic and from there to Tripoli in Libya.
If you want to cross from Agadez to Tripoli without money, you either get raped as a girl or get beaten up as a boy. The agency can also sell you out as a slave to get their money before you are allowed to cross to Tripoli with your new owner.
I saw dead people; boys being killed; girls raped to death, and people sold as slaves. The worst part is that Nigerians are among those Arabs who treat fellow Nigerians badly.
It was while I was about to cross to Tripoli that four Arab men raped me continuously without stop, after which I was allowed to cross to Tripoli where I discovered that I was pregnant.
The church where Nigerians worship in Tripoli advised me to go back to Nigeria since I cannot do any other work now that I am pregnant.
When I called my family that I was coming back, my mother asked them to tell me to stay back and try my best to cross to Europe.
But I said to myself that since she was not the one who sent me to Libya, she had no right to tell me to cross to Europe.”