Arlit was a large town North of Agadez. That was the next place we found ourselves.
The next man who came to pick us up was from Libya. He was light skinned like the Europeans and spoke French too.
I didn’t know how they were all connected to each other but that route had the largest human trafficking cartel in Africa.
Due to Language barrier, we had no conversation whatsoever with our new driver.
He was also on a rickety Land Rover loaded with water and Gas.
Nina and I were suddenly alone again with a new stranger.
The other two girls were handed over to a different crosser who had his own Land Rover.
The Agadez was a large meeting and exchange point where the Libyans came to pick up the girls.
At Arlit, we rested and waited for the night. According to the rumour we heard in Agadez, the Government of Ghadaffi arrested people traveling to Italy and jailed them.
The information had created fear and Panic in us and the worst was that we couldn’t even ask our driver any question.
I even wondered whether the Niger Republic had any kind of government at all.
Agadez was filled with foreigners, mostly Nigerians, Malians and Burkinabes. There were a few Ghanaians and Ivoriens too.
It wasn’t just girls anymore, there were also equal or even more number of men there. All waiting to go to Europe through Libya.
It was 9pm when we left Arlit and headed North towards Libya. That was the longest Journey of all the Journeys. We drove the whole night and only stopped when the driver added petrol to his Pickup in the middle of nowhere.
It was difficult to sleep in that condition because we not only feared we could be raped or killed, we also feared the government forces could attack us.
On the morning of the following day, we entered a small city inside Libya.
The driver drove into a compounded and asked us to come down.
We followed him to a house inside the compound where his wife, who understood some English words, explained to us that we would leave the town again in the night but with a public bus. She said it would take us the whole night and half day to get to Tripoli from the town.
They gave us more bread and some kind of meat pie to eat.
The wife showed us the bathroom where we cleaned up and changed clothes.
She showed us a room to rest and wait until our next journey.
We relaxed and even slept and waited for our next journey to the unknown.
I wondered if Italy was in Heaven to warrant people embarking on Such dangerous Journeys.
When we woke up and walked to the sitting room where the woman of the house was watching Television, she chatted us up.
“You are in luck. Sometimes people’s vehicles break down in the desert and they die”
“Die, why can’t other people see and pick them up on the road?” i had asked the woman.
It was then that she gave us a shocking news.
“Because there is no road in the desert. Every driver just guess the direction and follow it. Its all sand and seconds after a vehicle drive past a point, the strong Breeze closes the tyre tracks and its all middle of nowhere again” she laughed.
I continued asking her questions. “But how does your husband know the way to here”.
She looked up at me. “He doesn’t know. He only guess like other drivers. He missed the road sometimes and end up having to go in rounds. If you travel the road in day time, you see people in far away walking or driving in different directions. But its good money for us”.
The good news according to the woman, was that we had gone through the worst parts.
We were taking normal buses to Tripoli in the night and we were going to drive on tared roads.
In the late afternoon of that day, the family fed us again. I didn’t know how much they were paid and who paid them but i gave a lot of credits to whatever ring that was responsible for crossing us through the massive desert. They knew what they were doing.
It was 6:30pm when we left the Wada town and took the night bus heading up to Tripoli.
Most of the passengers were from other countries. Some were there for trading business; especially the Igbo men.
The two people i chatted up inside the bus said they were from Onitsha Nigeria and were going there to buy vehicle spare parts. They also said they came through Kano State instead of Burkina Faso.
They made the Journey easier for us as we all talked deep into the night before sleeping off.
We stopped in a small town outside Tripoli and took a private car to an already paid hotel room.
In the hotel alone, we were about 6 Nigerian girls, all waiting to be taken to Italy.
The man who took charge of us spoke English very well despite being a Libyan. He told us to call him Ali.
That was how we eventually found ourselves in Tripoli.
The city was very beautiful with flowers and clean roads.
They were many Nigerians there as well, some selling drugs while others did whatever job they found.
The hotel Manager came to our room after four days and asked for our names. When we told him, he said that a call came for us from Italy.
We followed him to an office underground and waited for some minutes before the call came again.
The female voice asked if it was Aunty Pamela that sent us there and we agreed it was her, she told us her name was Aunty Philo and that she was calling from Napoli in Italy.
She was friendly on the phone and asked how our Journey went.
She told us that someone would come down to Libya before one week to arrange for our travels. She also said that our hotel bills had been taken care of and that we shouldn’t be scared of anything.
Before she cut the call, she told us that the manager was responsible for our food and that he has been paid in advance. She also said that the manager would give us 100 Dollars each to use to buy things for ourselves.
That was a good news because that was the first money that we received since we left Lagos. But of course they knew that 100 dollars won’t take us anywhere.
It was just to show us that everything was rosy up there in Italy.