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Nigerians urged to shun modern-day slavery

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Director, UNIC, Lagos, Mr. Ronald Kayanja

Against the backdrop of modern-day slavery as exemplified by forced migration, labour and human trafficking, the Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, has urged Nigerians to shun all forms of slavery as all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

“The right to liberty and security,” he said, “is a fundamental human right that must be respected and no one should hold anyone in slavery or servitude”.Kayanja disclosed this at the weekend in Calabar, Cross River State, during the educational briefing of students as part of activities marking the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, organised by UNIC Lagos and the Cross River government.

Addressing over 200 students from 10 high schools, Mr. Kayanja, who was represented by UNIC National Information Officer, Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun, said those in position of power and influence at all levels including the family unit, should desist from exploiting and taking advantage of the vulnerable ones who are not in position to withhold consent to servitude.”

Explaining the theme for this year’s observance, “Remember slavery: Recognising the legacy and contributions of people of African descent”, the UNIC director explained that it focused on the ways in which enslaved Africans and their descendants influenced and continued to shape societies around the world, including in the areas of technology and culture; as well as the persistent spirit and innovation of the people in communities affected by the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, represented by the Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, Francis Ettah, acknowledged that Calabar was eminently qualified to host the ‘Remember Slavery’ programme in Nigeria due to its strategic importance as a slave port during the period of Slave Trade. He also thanked the United Nations for making Cross River the destination when it decided to take the observance out of Lagos for the first time. Ettah, therefore, urged the students not to allow themselves to be lured into slavery under the pretext of greener pastures.


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Ronald KayanjaUNIC
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