20.12.22 Lagos (Nigeria) As a team of Refugees4Refugees e.V. and DERS, we are on at the Lagos Cargo Airport to observe a charter deportation flight from Europe. Since the beginning of this year, deported persons are usually transferred from the airport to an hotel where they are to be on quarantine for one-week quarantine.
While we expected the deported persons to be transferred to the Quarantine Hotel, we later realized that the 21 deported persons were only conveyed to the Cargo airport gate and left stranded because the the Nigerian government has recently lifted the quarantine obligation in this regard.
As at the time we appeared at the Cargo Airport, the most of them had left the scene out of frustration and shame. While we walked around the Airport road to see if we could find some of them walking aimlessly, we found a middle-aged under a Mango tree with a Ghana must go Bag beside him. He was deported from Gelsenkirchen. With his eyes shining, angry, frustrated with no clear picture of what has actually happened to him. It is two hours before dusk. Another Two young men were roaming aimlessly along the Airport Oshodi express Way. One of them with a suitcase, the other one with his winter Jacket and a few other items in a torn plastic bag. They were surrounded by touts/Husslers offering help with the hope to make a few quick euros here. The man with the plastic bag had prior to the deportation handed over his belongings to a security personnel in detention. The belongings was to be packaged and transported onboard the deportation flight, but unfortunately his mobile phone did not arrive in Lagos. The man is not from Lagos, does not know where to go and cannot reach anyone. We talk to everyone and made sure they have a place to stay.
For those of them who needed shelter, we offered the the possibility to use our shelter for the first few days. Travelling out of Lagos at dusk is too dangerous now in Nigeria – a mojor reason why deported persons are left with no option but to accept any overnight offers from strangers without considering the risk of being cheated and otherwise. Before we arrive, the young man had just paid 1000 Naira – a third of a day’s wages, for a short Telephone call. The man from Gelsenkirchen was waiting to be picked up by a brother. We exchanged contact with him and hope he will get back to us in the next days.
We finally brought the other two guys from Ingoldstadt and Schwandorf to the shelter. According to one of the joung men,”The German policeman had told me, the Germans are angry because they have to give back these stolen bronze masks, that iswhy “Black People” are deported,” He replied that he does not know these masks and had nothing to do with them. The streets seem like a cold shower to him, he can’t believe where he is, this is where he wanted to leave. Still hours later in the shelter flat, he shakes his head, runs from one wall to the other. On his escape in Libya, he was shot in the back when they stole his wages as a truck driver. He shows us the wound next to his lumbar vertebrae. Because of the bullet wound, he was flown to Italy and treated there.
At the Schutzwohnung, there was one of those who had been deported a few months ago. He has since the previous week meeting and Interview session with deported persons remained in the apartment. He understands the situation and feelings of the newcomers better and was engaging in taking care and encouraging them.
Quoting the German Foreign Minister in her speech during handing over of the bronze figures in Abuja (Nigeria): “We are here to right a wrong”. Ms Baerbock imagines that the bronze figures were merely bought by Germany but stolen by the British. In Nigeria, the person who buys a stolen good is considered the bigger offender, because it the buyer makes the business profitable, in other words encourages the stealing. We are thinking of the man under the mango tree, the stranded people in front and around the Cargo airport and along the airport Airport road and cannot see anything right about it.
The German government has recently concluded its negotiation and passed the long xxxxxx new Chance Residence Act was passed in Germany. Since then, some federal states have suspended deportations that fall under the right of opportunity. Bavaria continues to deport instead, as also reported by the Bavarian Refugee Council.