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Friday, 5 January 2018

LIBYA SLAVE TRADE: CHIEF NEWTON JIBUNOH HOSTS CONCERNED FORUM

·        ABIKE DABIRI EREWA AND TEAM IN LIBYA TO RESCUE MORE NIGERIANS. MORE RETURNEES EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND


Over time the plight of Nigerian migrants has escalated and there has continually been the growing pressure from different quarters, for the government to act to correct the ill. In recent times, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on foreign affairs Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has also been visible in a concerted effort, to stem the tide of the growing illegal human trade.

It was therefore not surprising, when two days after Christmas, Nigerian explorer and award winning environmentalist Chief Newton Jibunoh, gathered stakeholders under the umbrella of FADE, his NGO, to address the growing issue of illegal migration, human trafficking, slavery and the contentious drug rings along the trafficked routes.  

The special guest at the forum Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who was not new to the issues, spoke of how the Nigerian government has stepped into the Libyan slavery market and human trafficking, to rescue some Nigerians. Some of those rescued was Stephen, his wife and son David. Others at the forum who had also been rescued were, Gift Osei-Jonathan, Sodiq Adeyemo (Plana, the rapper) and Sandra Ogbomeh.

In every way, they looked more cheerful and different in looks from the day they arrived back into Nigeria. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa had more good news to share at the forum. According to her, in the next few days, her office along with NEMA, NDLEA, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced persons and other such bodies, would be in Libya to rescue more Nigerians who would be willing to return home. They will also be there to have a word with the Libyan government on ways to eradicate the slave trade and stop human trafficking.

Others at the forum were Mr. Emmanuel Okonkwo, founder of Icon City of Nigeria and a former Migrant, Nimi Akinkugbe, CEO/Founder of Bestman games, Margaret N. Ukegbu, Coordinator Southwest Zonal Director, of National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced persons. And they all spoke against the ill of illegal migration and slavery among Africans. They also agreed to form cohesion to fight these issues from home country Nigeria, with the aid of the government and international bodies.

Chief Newton Jibunoh FADE Chaiman and the forum host, told newsmen the reason for his concern. “I am involved for two reasons, the first is to stop the brain drain ravaging the country over the years, while the second is because of my experience, having crossed the desert and gone through this heinous journey, I have seen many Africans, Nigerians, thrown or throwing themselves over board ships and tug boats.

I have witnessed heinous sights that I do not wish anybody to experience in the desert. So my reason for this forum again, is to bring the issues to the front burner so that more people can have a better understanding of the issues and then start to see how we can find a more lasting solutions to these illegal migration and continuous death in the desert and the Mediterranean sea in the bid to cross to developed countries.”

“I also want that the sources of this heinous crimes on the illegal migration route to be tracked down, so that this trafficking and traffickers can be stopped. We have a number of institutions around the world that have become players, for instance the United Nation, African Union, EU, ECOWAS but it seems like they have all been passing the bulk to one another without positive solution. So we have to take it upon ourselves to do it with their help.”

Meanwhile, for some of the returnees from Libya, the future looks good, as Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa at the forum promised to come to their aid, while NGOs present there offered the returnees opportunities to learn new skills to start earning a living.


The latest good news is that, a contingent from Nigeria eventually left the country early in the week and we understand that another batch of Nigerians in Libya have been rescued and will be arriving Nigeria this weekend.

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