In a Sad Spectacle, Nigeria Evicts Foreign Workers, Creating a Staggering Exodus
updated 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/21/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST
Those who took the overland route through Togo and Benin fared no better. Battered by hot winds carrying clouds of Sahara dust, a pitiful parade of overloaded autos and baggage-burdened pedestrians streamed silently west. Along Nigeria's reeking, garbage-strewn roads, many of the newly homeless were robbed of even the few possessions they could carry. Nigerian policemen confiscated valuables on the pretext that the refugees had no export licenses. "You came with nothing," sneered one Nigerian, "and you'll leave with nothing."
Incredibly, some of the refugees still found cause for hope after their long ordeal. "We'll cultivate the earth," said two young Ghanaians on arriving in their native land. Prosper Samora, a 23-year-old Ghanaian accountant, managed to get most of his belongings back to his hometown of Blekusu, but he won't stay there for long. "Soon," he vows, "I will go to Accra and finish the studies that I stopped before I went to Lagos six years ago." For a few, like Samora, the worst may be over. But for most of his countrymen who were forced to return to their depressed homeland, with little hope of work, their anguish continues.