By Dennis Agbo
Outstanding Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Centus C. Nweze; Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabri-Erewa and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dan-Mallam Mohammed are all set to participate in the migration and neo-slavery international conference of the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN.
Organized by the Grace Uzoma Okonkwo foundation in collaboration with the Institute of African Studies and the Department of English and Literary Studies in UNN, the conference has received the endorsement of the Center for African Studies in Harvard University, United States of America.
Disclosing the need for the conference, Convener and Director of the Institute of Africa Studies in UNN, Prof. Onyii Orabueze said that the high rate of migration from Nigeria has led most of the country’s youths to slavery and other vices such as drug trafficking and prostitution.
“We have instances of illegal migration. Our young ones leave Nigeria; leave the Africa continent and other third world countries in search of greener pastures but at times they don’t have the greener pastures, at times they die and nobody would know where they are. We have seen instances of boats capsizing in the Mediterranean Sea and their parents would be at home waiting for them, thinking they are in Spain and they wouldn’t know that they have died.
“Again, sometimes they go through the rigours of going through the Sahara desert, a place without water and they are dried up there, they die and nobody knows where they are. Sometimes their organs are harvested and the women are taken as prostitutes while others go to become maids but they find out that they have sold into prostitution. Some will say that they are going to play football but when they get there, they become drug peddlers.
“The university produces most of these kids and that is why the academia in every part of the world, we proffer solutions to every problem and that is what I and my colleagues are doing now, looking at the problem of migration that has bedevilled the country.
“We are saying that we should look at ourselves again, why is it that these children are going out in droves? Is it because of bad governance or bad leadership, not only in the country but in the family and in the institutional levels? Is it that parents are telling them to go because their mates have made money?
“So in this conference, we are interested in researches that deal with these realities, either as they relate to each other or as independent discourses. We are interested in papers that deal with the emergent issues in the discourse of migration and neo-slavery, particularly as it concerns Africans in Africa, Orabueze said.
She lamented the degeneration of the Nigerian image in the global community to the extent that nobody respects the country again because of the activities of the illegal migrants.
Slated from April 27 to 29 2021 at Nsukka campus, Justice Nweze would be the keynote speaker; Hon. Dabri-Erewa and DIG Dan-Mallam as guests of Honour; while the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Information, Hon. Benjamin Kalu and Hon. Chris Azubogu would be the guest speakers.
The lead papers will feature migration scholar, Prof Ike Odumegwu and Dr Pat Okeke of the Supreme knowledge schools Onitsha.