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When naija seems like heaven…


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I can’t explain my dismay when Nigerians are repeatedly mentioned amongst those making the perilous journey from Libya to Europe. One of those interviewed (a Nigerian lady!) by a foreign news organisation when the rather rickety truck they were travelling in broke down on the Sahara desert, and they were stranded, even claimed that she saw the advert of ‘job opportunities’ in Europe on Face book!Her spoken English was so impressive that I kept wondering why such a learned fellow would let herself fall for such scam.

The one that left me cussing out was another of those stranded on the Sahara desert who gave her name as Olabisi…a mother of four, who thought it wise to subject young kids to a perilous journey that even most adults don’t survive.Yet, people make these journeys daily and one wonders if all the warnings on the dangers of such endeavours have been falling on deaf ears.

What is it with our kind of desperation?Such harrowing experiences, can’t be far from the definition of HELL!In the words of a friend, “Europe is not Eldorado. Your problems are not certainly over like magic once you get there. Imagine risking it all to travel by all means possible. Imagine having to do away with your life savings and means of livelihood in order to go to the land of your dreams which in your mind flows with milk and honey and not being able to get what you want at the end of the day.

If you are lucky to get away from the Tuaregs and not have them kill you at the initial stage of your journey, you would likely get scorched by the desert sun and heat. If that doesn’t get you, the Libyans will most likely torture you to death or sell you as a slave. Assuming you are so lucky to get beyond the Libyans, you have the deep Mediterranean sea to battle with.

Many souls are resting at the bottom of that stormy sea while their families are still at home waiting for their calls. So many have been beaten to death by their slave masters in Libya, as they are unable to pay for their freedom.

Have you ever thought that if you had spent the amount of energy you used in getting to Libya back home, and made the same kind of sacrifices, that you would have had immeasurable success? Of what use is wealth when it is finally achieved at the expense of one’s life? Don’t risk your life on that suicidal journey of trying to get to Europe by sea and by every means possible. Your forebears will not welcome your spirit if you return to them through such a breakneck trip.

May God grant some sense to the African child.’’The streets would say this kind (abroad) travel nor be am, abeg.All that nightmare suddenly makes Naija seem like HEAVEN, frankly!

I do marvel at the strength of those that eventually survive the ordeal, but if going to Europe has to entail (amongst other abuses o) drinking the urine of Libyan delinquents…it is far better to convert all that energy and resources into sweating it out here and leaving the rest to God!There are some traumas that you just don’t get over in a lifetime.

EASY LIFE does not exist anywhere, much as we all desire to find ourselves in environments that enable one to reach his/her optimum in life.If you must travel…do all it takes to go with your DIGNITY intact. Even Europe isn’t exactly offering ‘open arms’ anymore…their resources are overstretched! How much more can we ask of a people?

I learned that one of the private rescue services (on the Mediterranean) was founded by a wealthy American and his Italian wife. The couple decided to take on the task themselves during a yacht cruise on the Mediterranean. The wife caught sight of a jacket in the water during the cruise, and when she asked about it, she was told it might belong to a dead migrant who was trying to find safety in Europe.

Nah….I can never blame ‘Oyibo’ for beginning to shut her door. It does get overwhelming extending ‘handouts’ to someone who isn’t willing to stand on her feet and take care of her own.…that is what the situation in most African countries portend.

Yet, Africa has enough to take care of her own but for unchallenged corruption.I sincerely hope this saga shames our leaders into taking stock but, most importantly, that this also angers the rest of us into realising that we can’t keep running away from corruption and gross ineptitude in governance.The power to say ‘enough is enough’ still lies with the people!

In this article:
Chukwuneta Oby
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