21 year-old Nigerian migrant identified as Vitoria, who was among the over 100 migrants rescued last week by Medecin Sans Frontieres and SOS Méditerranee chartered Aquarius ship, in an interview with newsmen disclosed why she risked her life to travel to Italy from Libya.
According to the lady who was in the group of migrants to arrive at Sicilian city Catania on Thursday, which included six women, 32 teenagers and six children, God created water and she is not afraid of it.
The Nigerian migrant who admitted she is more afraid of Libyan police said;
“I was not afraid of the water, because God created the water. I’m not afraid of death. We all die one day. I’m more afraid if the Libyan police were to catch me again, because they are so wicked”.
Vitoria who disclosed that she had been in Libya for just over a year before setting off last weekend, further added that she had spent nearly six months in dreadful conditions in a Libyan prison after a failed first crossing last year. Recall that the country’s notorious detention centres have been blasted by human rights groups and the United Nations as “inhuman.”
Rome decided this week to allow 105 people to land in Italy following a back-and-forth with British authorities over who should take them. Nearly 700,000 people have landed on Italian shores since 2013. Vitoria was one of those who had been on the Aquarius rescue ship, chartered by SOS Méditerranee and Medecins Sans Frontieres, since Monday night, after being saved on Sunday by a smaller boat — the Astral — run by a Spanish NGO following a call from the Italian coastguard.
The crew on the first boat had been told that Libya was coordinating the rescue operation, meaning that the migrants were to be taken back to the North African country.
However when the Astral met the migrants on Sunday the Libyan coast guard were nowhere to be found and didn’t respond to radio calls. At that point they decided to take them on board, and that’s where the standoff began.