Suicidal Migration to Europe en route Libya
BY Rotimi S. Bello(Abuja)
Recently, I listened to the presentation of a young man and a lady on a Human Right Radio, who claimed to have joined the bandwagon of migrants to Libya in search of a greener pasture. I was touched by the narrative of how eight died out of sixteen people in the desert when the pick-up van that conveyed them broke down. According to him, in the absence of water, they resorted to drinking their urine in order to survive this harsh desert weather when they were abandoned by their driver who went away for four days. The most touching part of the story was how the narrator and three other people narrowly survived the rubber boat which was loaded with almost three hundred people capsized in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. He claimed to have held on to a floating jerrycan and helplessly watching others hopelessly drowning and dying inside this pool of death before rescue mission arrived.
Out of desperation to better their lot in life, many youths have ignorantly mortgaged their lives by embarking on dangerous adventures of crossing the desert (a barren area of land or desolate terrain) by road. Sahara Desert is the most dangerous and hottest place in the world. It has little or no water or vegetation. The humidity is relatively low comparable to other places in the world. Journey across the desert is like journey to hell. Many young men and women perished due to extremely harsh weather occasioned by long sunshine duration. Those who narrowly managed to reach Libya have ended up of being enslaved by the Libyans human predators; trafficker cartels who kidnapped and caged many of them in exchange for ransom from their parents or being sold into slavery to mostly Arabs farmers from North Africa who then engaged and utilised the women among them as sex toy and men as prison bitch and farm nigger to be used and disposed willy-nilly.
As far back as 14th and 15th centuries, prior to the voyage of Christopher Columbus which opened the flood gate of opportunities to the Europeans, the world was said to have developed at equal level. The great voyage and the aftermath discovery hereafter served as catalyst that permanently disoriented Africans pride and prejudice. In the early part of the 16th century, many black African rulers ignorantly sold their citizens into slavery for infinitesimal pot of porridge and crumps from white traders. The African-Americans are the historical errors of our progenitor which could not be obliterated. The traumatic experience, overt contemptuous attitude and the permanent irredeemable identity of been tagged as the progeny of slaves and the attendant ill treatment, insult and debasement which has not abated since could be better imagined. Most African-American deliberately find solace in relocating from U.S to few secured African countries like Ghana and Senegal which offer them the needed freedom, haven and contentment more than U.S where irredentist white supremacist rein.
It is quite disheartening to have observed that in this century the youth who are the custodian of the future are downright involved in suicidal migration to Europe en-route Libya. Fifty per-cents (50%) of these migrants are Nigerians per the fact and figures made available by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Many of these migrants ignorantly end up in the unfathomable sea depth instead of Europe, their ultimate destination. Those who narrowly escape death by whisker on the Mediterranean Sea understood the import of life more than the enslaved because they were at the point of losing their precious lives and everything they acquired in a jiffy. Those Africans who were rescued on the high sea to Europe were viewed with supreme contempt by the Europeans and most of them end up in refuge island or prison camp.
At this juncture, African rulers need to wake up from slumber to face the reality of imminent catastrophe which is self-inflicted, owing to leadership policy inconsistency, primitive acquisition of public wealth and flagrant displayed by African leaders. Out of desperation to live a better live, millions of African youth will not hesitate to be taken to Europe and North America voluntarily as slaves or second class citizens in as much as basic sustenance of live is ably guaranteed. Life is too cheap in Africa. In this century, people are dying of malaria related diseases because of poverty and lack of affordable healthcare facilities. Many youths took to crime because of joblessness and lack of social support from the government. The strong aspiration and determination to survive and improve their quality of life blindfolded many youths to embark on this dangerous journey that has claimed more lives than any voyage embarked on in the human history.
Metaphorically, the quick response, intervention and prompt rescue effort of this administration in evacuating the stranded teeming youths from Libya to Nigeria was commendable and universally appraised. However, much still need to be done to ameliorate the condition of these returnee migrants to dissuade them and other intending citizens from such itinerancy. Sustainable jingles and advert should be put in place in different Nigerian languages to discourage our teeming youth and women from joining bandwagon of adventurous migration that is inimical to their existence and survival. Development programme should be instituted by the Local, States and Federal governments to empower and engage the youth to bring out the ingenuity in them, knowing that poverty is the mother of ingenuity. Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) should be domesticated and adequately funded in all nooks and crannies of the country to stimulate internal economic growth and discourage undesirable migratory habits and lifestyle fads vastly gaining momentum because of poverty. Finally, an enlightened campaign should be put in place to sensitise the citizens about the great risk associated with such voyage and discourage them from baiting this degrading and atavistic option of crossing the Mediterranean Sea with boat.