I WRITE this letter to share the predicaments of Nigerian immigrants trapped in Libya and to seek help from the government. I will like to draw the attention of the government to a documentary entitled: “Ross Kemp: Libya’s Migrant Hell.” This documentary is about Africans, the majority of whom are Nigerians, trapped in different regions in Libya. These people paid a lot of money to traffickers for the purpose of migrating to Europe. While some fell off trucks and died in the Sahara, others drowned in the Mediterranean Sea en route to Europe. My main concern here is, however, the ‘survivors’ who remain trapped in Libya. According to this documentary, some of the survivors are practically enslaved and are being used as slave labourers. The female survivors are being forced to work as prostitutes and others are locked up in detention camps. One of the most horrific incidents in the detention camp was about a Nigerian lady who had her baby in a toilet! The lady is still critically ill, without any medical attention. As there is no clear or stable government in Libya, these people are being treated like commodities by rival militia groups in Libya. These militia gangs desperately want to keep them in Libya as they are profiting from them. On the other hand, European governments do not want them crossing over to Europe and, therefore, will do everything to keep them in Libya. I am aware that the government recently brought back some migrants. However, there are still a considerable number of Nigerians trapped across different parts of North Africa. The responsibility of securing their safe return to Nigeria, without any doubt, now falls on the government, religious leaders and politicians for the following reasons. The president took an oath to protect Nigerians. Religious leaders should realise that if these people had achieved their objective of immigrating to Europe, they would be giving testimonies and donating money to their churches or mosques. As for the politicians and government officials, their incessant pilfering of communal resources is partly responsible for these people’s predicament, as the resources could have been used to develop our communities and thereby negate the need to emigrate. Regarding senators and members of the state Houses of Assembly, their unjustifiable wage package engenders continuing misery in the lives of Nigerians, hence the need to emigrate. For wealthy Nigerians, getting these Nigerians home is simply a moral obligation and a matter of compassion.


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