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Countering illegal migration

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By Vera Samuel  Anyagafu
THE rate at which African youths embark on illegal migration and the means through which majority of them embark on such journeys to choice countries abroad, calls for urgent attention by African leaders.

Migrating illegally through several live threatening means has, regrettably, turned out to be one of the causes of despair in many African homes. This is because lives of many of such countries’ best nationals who undertook dangerous passages through the sea, have been lost.

*Foreign Affairs Minister, Gbenga Ashiru
*Foreign Affairs Minister, Gbenga Ashiru

Tens of thousands of these African migrants have embarked on these dangerous crossings in recent years. They are usually packed into rickety wooden and or fishing boats that are often exposed to dangerous elements. A few weeks ago, a large number of these migrants lost their lives in an attempt to enter Europe through an 18m Italian boat.

In another breathe, the decision to attempt a dangerous passage through the sea in a fishing boat, and or rickety wooden boats, no doubt calls for proper sensitization of those involved in the practice. It also demands countering measures from all the ruling bodies of countries whose nationals are involved in such practices.

Objective appraisal

These ruling authorities would need to have sincere, frank and objective appraisal of the issue and ways they would provide a lasting solution.

Describing the recent Italian ship wreck as anomalous, Nigerian renowned industrialist cum politician, who spoke on grounds of anonymity told Consular Advisory that majority of the illegal migrants who unfortunately lost their lives in the boat mishap were male and under 30 years of age.

He disclosed that they were transiting from countries where there is uncontrolled political turmoil, corruption and insecurity.

According to the industrialist, “Thousands of these African youths, are prompted to flee their countries as a result of the many instabilities that evolve around their future and as such become over zealous in their efforts to migrate to countries where they felt are most focused and caring government. Countries with a government that holds tight to the stated mission for its citizens.

“If the ruling bodies of these African countries have not turned threats to the future of the crème de la crème of their respective societies, why would there be a reason as strong enough to push these youth into taking decisions they know could possibly cost them their lives, particularly in situations where they become unfortunate.”

He further decried the insatiable nature of the governments of these nations, who on the basis of corruption, have diverted funds for development of infrastructure for a better economy, thereby exposing the youth to a startling encounter. He noted that it takes sensitized and corrupt free government to provide quality services to its citizens, in order to counter illegal migration.

Recalling Pope Francis’ first official trip outside Rome, where he presided over an open-air mass on Italy’s tiny land of Lampedusa to commemorate the thousands of immigrants who have died at sea in an attempt to cross over to choice countries illegally, the industrialist cum politician stated, “It was disheartening. I can imagine how they may have struggled to survive to no avail, and I also condemned the global indifference to their plight.”

Pope Francis, whose ancestors migrated to Argentina from Italy, reportedly stood in sympathy with impoverished illegal migrants, expressing the ignorance, and or mischievous acts of traffickers who exploited migrants and took great risks with their lives.

The Island which is said to be one of the nearest gateways to Europe for Africans who are fleeing from corruption, poverty and conflicts in their countries is also said to be struggling to cope with thousands of illegal migrants.

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