Day-in-day out, unemployed Nigerians, mostly youths, migrate in their droves from the shores of this country to other countries seeking a living. They engage in such risky adventures through unconventional means. This group comprises higher school graduates such as universities, polytechnics and at times young secondary school leavers. According to unconfirmed reports, an average of hundred Nigerian lads travel out of the country daily through illicit travel modes and routes to Europe and other overseas countries in search of a living and survival. The illegal journeys have assumed a booming trade with glorified travel syndicates milking unsuspecting teenagers and endangering their lives in the name of going abroad. The recruits are males and increasingly, females are swelling the ranks. The ladies are reportedly recruited for menial jobs and prostitution. The males do anything as drug couriers, trafficking agents and any crime to survive the long winding journey until they get to North Africa, the border line of the dangerous voyage to Europe. Certainly, there is nothing wrong traveling overseas by anyone, including the youths. But undoubtedly, so many things are defective when the means and purpose are dishonest. A popular saying states that “there is no smoke without fire.” This often said local adage aptly describes whether or not these wild trips are justified or not. First and foremost, why will any young or old Nigerian in his or her normal sense elect to leave his country to a strange land and through awful means if all was actually well at home? Obviously, something must trigger the burdensome desire to flee the country, maybe for survival, threat to life, hunger or otherwise. For instance, bad governance, poor socio-economic condition, war, communal crisis, insecurity, inequality, ethnic and religious favouritism are so much entrenched in Nigeria; this could be the causative factors that encourage such migration. Nevertheless, it is observed that much of this is the reason why year in year out Nigerians who possibly are tired of roaming the streets of the country without jobs and any means of livelihood, and eager to make a living outside the shores of the country, jet out at whatever cost and means. Yet against these misnomers, there is a growing concern about the travel risks the young lads pass through to get to Europe, in most cases unsuccessfully, as they reportedly die on the way. From one account or the other, revelations abound that these desperados travel all the way through the deserts, forests, on donkeys, trekking long distances in the rains, hot desert soil in addition to being molested, dehumanised and raped by their overlords, tour guards, with most of them not reaching their destinations in Europe but ending up in some west African sub-coast countries as prostitutes for the ladies while the men submit to any manner of crime on the long run. Worse off, there are the incontrovertible accounts that most finally die fruitlessly while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe after a long tortuous journey. According to official report from the International Organisation on
Migration, IOM, no fewer than 128 migrants comprising Nigerians and other West Africans died while crossing Mediterranean Sea to Europe between March 6 and 26, 2017. According to another UN agency account, the number made it 649 deaths recorded in the first 86 days of 2017. Indeed this is horrifying and we need not be told about the horrendous tales of these young men and women as the numbers who die unheard and unaccounted for outnumbers those who survive and saved by international migration agencies. Though it is not only Nigerians that are on this odd side of history, there are other Africans, but the out of the ordinary is the propensity by the number of Nigerians, young, old and infants that are deported repeatedly from European and North Africa. Only recently 262 Nigerians comprising, 108 males, 135 females, 8 children and 11 infants who were stranded in Libya voluntarily returned home. Perchance they were picked by the international organization for migration and returned to Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian embassy in Libya after failing to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Interestingly some government agencies were on hand to receive them, according to reports, like the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, whose, South West Coordinator, Suleiman Yakubu, stated that both the federal and states governments have initiated programs to rehabilitate and reintegrate returnees back to society, while advising Nigerians to take advantage of the enormous opportunities available in the country to engage themselves. Unfortunately we disagree with the agency about government’s reintegration and rehabilitation program and note that it another government lie often told in the media. What this agencies do to returnees is to take them into custody, give them transport monies to return back to their homes and thereafter abandon them without follow ups. In retrospect this is the case. Curiously, it must be noted that no one would want to rove to an unknown land if there were jobs or effortless empowerment programs at home to make ends meet. It is not untrue that Government has failed to meet with standards and empowerment schemes to create wealth for the unemployed in the country till date. If this regime is honest that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow, then it should honestly begin to chart a good course towards achieving this noble talk. Being ‘leaders of tomorrow’ should not be lip service as has being that lack of sincerity. However, while we don’t support desperation by this group of Nigerians to embark on illicit migration to other countries for green pastures, we challenge the Buhari administration to provide jobs, empowerment for Nigerians. This administration must make things work and effortlessly too. Nigerians don’t need to wander about or belong to APC to get jobs, it is the responsibility of Government to do the needful. So stop blaming those who go out to seek a living but rather the authorities should put in place proper wealth creating machinery that will discourage wild and horrific migration adventures by Nigerians. Certainly this is the right thing to do, if not, more and more will attempt this unrewarding road to death and not survival.

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