A twenty-two year old Ghanaian, Farid Abdallah is languishing in a Libyan Prison after his dream of traveling over the Mediterranean Sea from the North African country to Europe was truncated by bad weather and perhaps fate.
His worried father came to the DAILY GUIDE to narrate the ordeal of his son after receiving a text message from him last Friday evening; a story he said, he is unable to tell the young man’s mother.
The family’s mental torture has been compounded by the recent pictorial evidence about what foreigners, Ghanaians inclusive, are going through in Libya.
The message the father received reads “Salamu Alaikum father. It is me Farid. Hope everybody is doing well there. Father, thank God that I am still alive but the problem now is that for the past two months, I am in a prison in a town called Zawiya Boesa near Sabrata. Please, I need your help father.’
Farid’s story started with his trip to Kumasi where he said he was going to meet a connection man over his planned trip to Europe through Libya. ‘Upon reaching Kumasi, he did not return to Accra to brief me but proceeded to Libya.’
He called his father to tell him that he had reached the shores of Libya but because the sea was rough the trip was put on hold.
‘I told him to see an uncle’s son in that country for possible assistance. I started seeking my cousin’s number so I could it give to him for the contact. I received a call and a man speaking in Akan told me that my son had been arrested during a raid by some Libyans. My son in Italy called to tell me that he had received a call from someone in Libya who said an amount of GH¢2500 be deposited in a certain account in Ghana before my son would be released. I found the message unusual and so ignored it.’
Farid’s father discovered that there are some Ghanaians behind some of the ordeals being suffered by their compatriots as in the case of a Ghanaian fronting for the imprisoned Farid.
“My son completed the Dagbon Senior High School in Yendi. I need the assistance of all to have my son released and returned to Ghana,” the disturbed father pleaded.
Farid’s father came to the offices of the DAILY GUIDE in the company of a certain man, Zulkarnaini, a resident of Nima who said he had returned from Libya a few months ago after working there for a year.
He said he went there following his engagement by an agent who recruited him and others to go and work there as tailors to specifically do embroidery in a workshop.
‘When we arrived there, the terms of the agreement were varied and so I decided to return but the Libyan and a Ghanaian accomplice refused to allow me to return. They demanded I work to cover the cost of my trip from Ghana to Libya which under the dangerous circumstances, I obliged. Eventually, I left Libya but even then we were dumped at an airport for many days during which we suffered from the elements. Please do all that you can to have the young man released because the prison there is terrible. Libya is a dangerous country. A foreigner could just be picked up in the streets and a ransom demanded; failure to pay which can result in torture or even death at the hands of the rebels.’
A certain Ghanaian at the Ghanaian embassy simply called ‘Teacher’ facilitated his acquisition of a travel certificate back to Ghana, he said.
By A.R. Gomda