By Constance Meju
Am seething with deepanger as I write this piece; anger at the Nigerian leadership that rather thantransform the wealth bequeathed to this country by God, have turned the once beautiful country into a state of hopelessness. A countryflowing with unimaginable oil, gas and other minerals, yet the poorest of thepoor.
I was seriouslydiscussing the pitiable state of our youth who leave the shores of this land bythe droves every day in search of perceived gold in pounds and dollars only tobecome victims of slavery perpetrated with the connivance of fellow Nigerians,male and female. I was wondering how this could have been averted had things beenworking fine in the country. Then a friend who knows about this my stress, sent me a message by WhatsApp notifyingme that a human farm has been discovered where thousands of Black youths, womenand babies are locked in cages, a market for human parts.
The report titled, “AHuman Part Discovered in Libya” stated,
“The troops of MarechalHaftar have released more than 2500Africans (men, women and children and babiesin a very strange farm.
All these Africans werelocked in small cages limiting their movements like wild beasts. They were allin a bad state. Some had no eyes and all bore stigmata of gross surgery”.
Recall that last year there was a news break that Nigerians were being sold for a pittance, a low as $37 dollars in the same Libya, a development that prompted the Federal Government to embark on a repatriation of at least 650 Nigerians through the Port Harcourt international Airport.
These returnees spokeof heavy dehumanization and ill-treatment but pathetically, some despite theagony experienced, indicated they might go back if nothing good comes up. Sincethey came Nigeria has not introduced any incentive to address these traumatizedNigerians nor created job opportunities to enable those thinking out to back-down.It is not unlikely that some of these newly discovered modern animals may havegone to Libya after the reported slavery and repatriation exercises.
The director-general ofthe National Agency Against Traffickingin Persons, NAPTIP, Dr Mrs. Donli at aConference by the Niger Delta Queenslast year in Yenegoa, lamented that Niger Delta has a large number of hercitizens trapped in neighouring countries of Burkina Faso and Mali trapped assex slaves and the agency is yet to bring all home.
In China, there are short uploads of Africans being roasted on barbeque stands as delicacies for rich Asians; all these persons lured overseas under guise of business trips by fellow Africans.
The Libyan atrocity isso sordid that these slaves are opened up without anesthesia. “without takingthe trouble to give them the slightest anesthesia, doctors take from them theorgans that the rich Western clienteleneeds….They are denied their humanity and locked up in cages as a reserve forthe needs of Western medicine”.
This human organbusiness according to the report, has become, “an abominable booming businessin the Middle East and human farms are becoming more numerous”.
It said $2biliondollars in cash was found in the human farm by the Marshal Haftar troop.
A black kidney nowcosts$262,000, the heart, $119,000 and the liver $157,000.
In the face of thisre-enslavement of the African, the western press and African leaders have beensilent which is worrisome. The loudest reference to this ugly trend has been awarning by the British High Commission in Nigeria which issued a statement lastmonth, warning Nigerians seeking to go to the UK to stay at home rather thangetting in only to become slaves.
The federal government,the National Assembly and even the special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on the Diaspora are yet to respond to thatvery weighty warning.
With worsening economicconditions heightened by serious insecurity all over the country, it becomeseven more difficult for citizens to stay back but we have to persuade them todo so because their lives are at stake and their dissemination diminishes ourcountry and continent.
Their desperationshould serve as enough impetus to all parents, youths, the clergy, communitygroups and leaders to rise up and begin to demand accountability and good government.Imagine if all the amounts being listed as looted funds are properly ploughedback into the system, if the budgets are honestly put to work, if there areneeded infrastructure in the country and youth specific programmmes with roomfor nurturing and empowering our youths to apply their talents and skills intonation-building from their varied corners, if agriculture is truthfully given a boost and anyone interested helped todo so, Nigeria, with her recently announced 200 million population will becomea boom for entrepreneurs and the heavy insecurity in the country that has sooverwhelmed the federal government that it went on its knees to beg FulaniHerdsmen to accept a staggering N100billion to stop killing farmers andkidnapping people.
Think what differenceN100billion ploughed into real development like setting up of micro-factoriesacross communities would have done to improve livelihood, restore hope amongthe engaged and thus reduce the gripping poverty that has so engulfed thecountry that at the least provocation our youths are heading for suicide.
This Buhari/Osibanjogovernment must address this slavery tainting the future of our youth. It mustshow interest in engaging Nigerians meaningfully rather than adding to theirworries by notifying that unemploymentwill rise years ahead. Put proceeds from oil, gas, gold, taxes, etc., to gooduse so there will e enough resources to squarely address the needs of thepeople. Also, transparency much lacking in this administration, should be theorder. The people must know what is going on, how allotted resources are usedand this calls for concerted efforts atfollowing the actions of government by the citizenry for as late Prof ClaudeAke has said, a people deserves the leaders it gets. Nigerians have been docilefor too long, and while just observing without acting, we allowed politiciansto steal the future of our youth forcing them to run helter skater in search ofsurvival. In the process, their dignity and the dignity of the nation and the Africanrace has become endangered.
About 6000 refugees andmigrants are currently locked up in detention centers ostensibly under thecontrol of Libya’s directorate for combating illegal migration, which isassociated with the government of Fayez al-Sarraj.
In reality however,many of the centers are run by militias. The directorate did not respond tomultiple requests for comment.
The roughly 600detainees in Tajoura are among tens of thousands of men , women, and childrenwho have been intercepted in the Mediterranean sea trying to reach Europe overthe past two years and brought back to indefinite detention. The EU is spendingtens of millions of euros to train, fund and equip the Libyan coastguard, in abid to decrease migration from Africa.
“They know what isgoing on in the Libyan detention centers but the EU pretend like they don’tknow”, said one of the detainees. “Libya is not the right place for refugeesand migrants to stay. They should stop bringing back those who tried to crossthe sea”.
We must rise and demandfrom our leaders who prefer to roll in dollars, drive private jets andtransverse the globe in search of where to hide stolen fund while the owners ofthe wealth suffer in hopelessness and unrecorded levels of poverty, to returnwhat has been stolen, condemn this new wave of indignity and atrocity againstthe black raise and begin to re-construct a new Nigeria and Africa whose peopleshall be empowered to become the best they can be within the country and with rebuilt pride, stand t among theirpeers in the comity of nations aware that no one has a right to turn anotherinto a slave or kill another for his ownsake. THIS UGLY DREAM MUST END!
ConstanceMeju is the publisher of Port Harcourt based National Point Newspaper anddedicated gender equality and human rights advocate.