A group of Nigerians may have been lucky to escape the guns of Libya rebels who stormed their residence in the heart of Tripoli as the rebel scout for Gadaffi loyalists.
They could have been assassinated outright but for the intervention of the embedded British Independent Television (ITN) reporter who acted as go between to seek for their temporary pardon pending the presentation of some Nigerian women whom they claimed would bear witness they were Tripoli residents and not Gadaffi mercennaries.
The fate of the fear-gripped Nigerians was still hanging in the balance as the group of men were given temporary pardon to present their Nigerian co- immigrants.They were still facing the enemies guns pending the arrival of the Nigerian associates .
The news reporter as shown in the video above appeared to take initiative as he persuaded the rebels to give the men a second chance before their elimination by presenting their co immigrants who are women living in Tripoli.
The Nigerians apparently have stayed back out of desperation early in the year just as other Nigerians were airlifted from Tripoli on the order of President Jonathan Goodluck on the eve of the commencement of the war.
It was a gory scene of maltreatment, fears infliction and degradation as the humiliated Nigerians are packed in a house corner by the rebels pushed to the ground and house walls. There were shootings outside the building that gave the signal that the rebels were there on real business of killings. The rebel held the Nigerians hostage and pushed them around the house and searching all rooms to comb out anyone hiding.
All the actions had been caught by the embedded ITN reporter, apparently mediating with the rebels that the men would provide other associates in Libya to show they are immigrants resident in Libya and not mercenaries.
The ITN embedded reporter witnessed the Nigerians’ experience and presented the above report.
They were dragged, slapped and pushed to the walls as the thought of saying the last prayed apparently filled the men’s hearts with the thought they were to be assasinated.
Many of them were even praying thinking it might be their last opportunity for a last prayer as the ITN reporter interceded to appeal to the rebels that if the Nigerians would provide relatives to show they were not mercenaries fighting for Gadaffi, their life would be spared.
*The Federal Government of Nigeria however, called on the Libya’s Transitional National Council (TNC) to take extra steps to protect black African migrant workers and others stranded in refugee camps in the country.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement in Abuja said it has received reports of outright killings, rape and extortion from “these helpless Africans and those in detention and incarceration.
The statement reads in part: “The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to note with great concern reports of incessant abuse of helpless civilians in Libya by some unscrupulous elements who continue to take undue advantage of the ongoing crisis in that country.
“This development is a deviation from the overall expressed desire of the TNC, the African Union and indeed the United Nations for the restoration of democracy and good governance in Libya.
“These extra-judicial killings certainly run contrary to Nigeria’s call for the leadership of the TNC to be magnanimous in victory and can only stand in the way of peace building, early reconciliation and reconstruction in Libya.
“The government again seizes this opportunity to call on the leadership of the TNC to immediately take steps to check the excesses of these unscrupulous elements in Libya in order to pave way for restoration of genuine democracy and true reconciliation for all Libyans.”