The Menace Of Human Trafficking: Our Values And Collective Shame, By Lauretta Onochie
But the world is dealing with a very powerful cartel, similar to the drug cartel.
When it started at that time, it was about N250, 000, 30years ago. Now, I can tell you, it is from one million Naira to 3 million naira that each of these people pay to the cartel for documentation, to cross Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. And when documentations are obtained through the back doors, our young people get in trouble with the laws of the countries they pass through and when they run into trouble, they are thrown into these detention camps then, the cartels abandon them. After all, they have been paid their fees.
Crossing the Mediterranean Sea takes 12 hours by boat. If your papers are not correct, you stand the risk of being thrown into the sea. Here is an eye witness account by Chief Jibunor:
“it was during my second expedition. I had all my papers and documentation intact and people had known about me and what I was doing because CNN reported it. I had my car in the hole of the boat to move it across the Mediterranean. I also paid for a cabin because it was going to be an overnight crossing and it was going to take about 12 hours. Unfortunately and unknown to me, I was going to share the cabin with somebody who was smoking continuously and, at some point, I couldn’t take it anymore; so I had to go to the deck of the boat where there were a lot of migrants – 90% of them were Nigerians because I could hear their discussions in our languages. I listened to their conversations.
There are many reasons why our young people go on this risky, dangerous and sometimes, deadly adventure. Subsequent governments have failed to provide job opportunities for our young school leavers and graduates. Many roam the streets for more than 10 years, unable to support themselves, let alone, support their parents to pay back the loans they took to support their children’s education.
The few jobs available, would go to those who know somebody in government, industry, the Military or a first class traditional ruler. A culture of nepotism. Yet we are christians.
There is discrimination of ALL sorts in our culture. Rich men discriminate against other men. Young women discriminate against poor men. Men discriminate against women. We all discriminate against children. Old people and people with learning difficulties and disabilities suffer the most and wost kinds of discrimination. So these people who pay and run off to Europe and who never will make it back alive, are part of the Nigerian population that are suffering discrimination and marginalization. No help from government. No help from privileged people in their areas.
The situation is worse in our area where most of our young people watch their mates from specific families, swim in looted government funds while they go to bed hungry.
They also want to make it in line with “I WILL MAKE IT IN JESUS’S NAME” AMEN? Making it is now all about building a house and buying a four wheel drive, things that decay with use, according to the bible. Yet, we all are headed for heaven. That’s a talk for another day…
Another reason for many of them is pure undiluted GREED. Today and under this government, young people are becoming millionaires by keying into the Anchor Borrowers Scheme with a loan of just a little over 800,000 naira. My point is, If a family can raise between 1- 3million naira by selling family lands and heirlooms, there is surely a lot they can do in today’s Nigeria with such humongous amounts!
Again, someone from their area, or even town, would have access to billions of Naira, come home as a hero, and throw lavish feast for the elders without recourse to how to create a better and more viable community. Many of us here wore the Mauve Uniform of this great institution manufactured in Onicha Olona here by Olona Textile mills, through the benevolence of Late Mr. Sunday Egbo. He also brought about Copane farms Limited in Olona, which provided abundance of food, chicken, pork, etc for The Anioma area and beyond. His example is what our elites must emulate. It’s not enough to use nepotism to find jobs for a few people in Lagos, ABUJA, Enugu etc. We must invest in our community to stem the trend of urban migration and illegal migration that leads to loss of precious lives.
Our wealthy elites must again, begin to cultivate community spirit. They must begin again to invest in our communities. Lorry loads of bamboo, cassava, yams, palm produce etc. leave our area daily. We have streams that flow out of rocks that need little or no purification before bottling. Fruits grow lavishly in our area.
The Social Media is not all about sharing fake and false news. PLEASE help to share on Social Media, especially on WhatsApp, programmes of government that will benefit our people including but not limited to Anchor Borrowers Scheme, Market money, N-Power, small and medium industry empowerment schemes of the Bank of Industry, as well as the Social Investment Programmes for the poor and the vulnerable among us. Unless we know, we cannot apply and unless we apply we cannot benefit.