I thought I could easily get to Europe through Libya, but I was stranded there for eight months – Physically challenged tailor

Frank Obeahon is a physically challenged tailor in Benin City, Edo State. He shares his experience with PETER DAVID on how he was stranded in Libya after a failed attempt to migrate to Europe
Who is Frank Obeahon?

I was born on April 9, 1990. I am from the Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo State. My parents gave birth to nine children, but only seven of us are alive today. I am the first son. However, my mum died on December 11, 2014, while my dad followed on May 5, 2020. They both died from complications from separate motor accidents.

As the first child, how have you been coping with the responsibilities of raising your siblings?

For now, I am not yet married. I am managing my life the way it is and I have ensured that my siblings get the needed attention. Some of them are in secondary schools, while those who have graduated are currently acquiring skills in different fields so that they will become entrepreneurs and become useful to society.

How come that you have one leg?

I was born this way. It was not a case of amputation. My mother told me that this was how she gave birth to me. She took me to several hospitals and she was told that there was nothing wrong with me and that that was how God created me. So, I accepted it that way.

You attempted to leave Nigeria some time ago, what prompted your decision and what were you doing before making that move?

I was at the Ambrose Alli University in Ekpoma studying Economics, but dropped out of school in 2013 after spending just a year, because my parents could no longer afford to train me. The situation was worsened by the fact that my mum and dad were separated before that time; it became difficult for me. There was no one to sponsor my education. I was stressing myself in the school environment trying to see if I could train myself, but I discovered it was not working, so, that was how I made up my mind to travel out of the country for greener pastures. I left with four of my friends but unfortunately for me, the sojourn was not successful.

Where did you go to and how did you leave Nigeria?

Like I said earlier, I left Nigeria with four of my friends by road from Nigeria to Libya. The journey was rough but because my mind was made up, I decided to face the difficult situation. It was stressful travelling on road from Nigeria to Libya, and when we got there, I discovered that I was no longer living a free life unlike the situation in Nigeria. I felt I was living in a dangerous environment. Libya was not my destination; I had intended to proceed to Italy. I became stranded in Libya because I did not have money with me to proceed to Italy.


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