The Senate on Wednesday debated the alleged auction of Africans, mostly Nigerians, in the North African country of Libya.
The lawmakers took turn to condemn the act which has drawn public outcry following gory pictures and videos currently in circulation on social media.
Presenting the motion, Baba Kaka Garbai, Borno-APC, said that the inhuman condition aired in the latest report by CNN is a “humiliation not just to Nigeria and Africa as a whole but also to human civilization and the fundamental principles of human rights under the United Nations Charter.”
He noted that even though protests are ongoing in European countries such as Paris and Brussels, “we who are the most affected as these are our children, our brothers and sisters, our youths, are indifferent.”
“The report by Libyan officials is that its detention centres are full and they have only deported five per cent of the 20,000 in the detention centres because of lack of response from the home governments of the migrants;
“The Libyan government does not have the means nor the commitment to crack down on the perpetrators as their hands are full. Hence these smuggling networks are killing, torturing, extorting and detaining migrants at will.”
In his contribution, Dino Melaye, Kogi-APC, expressed surprise that the federal government has remained silent since the emergence of videos of the slave trade.
“Mr. President, the social media has been awashed for over a month now with different video clips with very excruciating pictures of Nigerians being humiliated,” he said. “It is high time we resigned to citizen diplomacy as practised by the United State of America. Nigeria and Nigerians must take the life of every Nigerians not only seriously but to defend Nigerians anywhere in the world. I am particularly surprised Mr. President that these video footages has been on YouTube and social media for over one month and there’s not been one very drastic position by the federal government to condemn and take very proactive position on the lives of Nigerians outside the shores of this country.”
He urged government at all levels to take the security of Nigerian citizens as priority.
Ali Wakili, Bauchi-APC, wants the government to give more attention to education as a way to nip the menace in the bud.
“We need to address the root causes of these issue of illegal migration. There is the issue of poverty that is bedevilling our people. There is the issue of poor governance, there is the issue of fact that we have corrupt leaders that have taken our wealth to the western countries and it is not helpful to them, nor to their descendants nor to us people,” he said.
“Our education needs to be looked into. We churn out graduates that are not employable, especially in the digital period in which we find ourselves. Our education system need to be looked into so that we can have vocational training and others so that they can meet up with local challenges.”
The Senate resolved to “condemn in totality the current depravity and sheer animalism being exhibited by these Libyans selling fellow Africans as slaves, urge the federal government to urgently investigate how many of our people are affected and urgently commence the process of repatriation and rehabilitation of Nigerian citizens caught up in these despicable treatment and human rights abuses.’
The Senate also resolved to invite the Libyan ambassador in Nigeria to brief the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and urged the government at all levels in Africa to take steps to ameliorate economic hardship feeding this migration crisis.
The lawmakers also adopted an additional prayer by Bala Ibn NaAllah, Kebbi-APC, that President Muhammadu Buhari should seize the opportunity of the ongoing EU-AU all summit in Abidjan to table the matter.