Migrants hold their emergency certificates at the Metiga Airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli on March 11, 2016 ahead of their repatriation to their countries of origin by the Libyan authorities. The formalities for their departure were organised by the Libyan authorities and the mission of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Before embarking, their personal belongings, which were confiscated at the time of their arrest, were returned alongside a boarding pass. / AFP / MAHMUD TURKIA

The reporting on the human auctions in Libya on CNN is heartbreaking.
We have long suspected this with the long queue of Nigerians that throng the Planes that are being sent to Libya to bring back Nigerian citizens who are ready to come back home.

This is three steps back for humanity. Looking at the cage where the immigrants are kept is worrisome.They are packed in hordes like animals in terrible inhumane conditions.
Gory tales of inhuman treatment that has been bestowed on these immigrants was shared to the CNN team that visited one of several camps where the economic migrants are being held.

The federal Government of Nigeria needs to move swiftly to help the Nigerian citizens who are captives in Libya. As a matter of fact the Nigerian Ambassador to Libya Ambassador Isah Mohammed Aliyu should liaise with the Ministry of Foreign affairs on how they can coordinate the repatriation of Nigerians illegally in Libya.

The Smuggling Route

Libya has been used every year by smugglers to move economic migrants across the seas into Europe.
Lately Libya’s Coastguards have clamped down on the Smugglers which has left many economic migrants stranded in Libya.
This has created an avenue for smugglers to turn most of these migrants to slaves and auction them to whoever is interested in buying them.
The migrants are helpless since they are broke and have no means of survival, Slavery is to the rescue.
CNN had a breakdown analogy of a would be migrant who got stuck in Libya.
His name is victory and he hails from Edo state Nigeria.

1) He was sold at a slave auction. He spent a year and four months spending his life savings trying to reach Europe.

2) Victory was sold as a day laborer by his smugglers, who told him that the profit made from the transactions would serve to reduce his debt.

3) His captors demanded money from his family if they still want to see him. He paid his captors over a million naira (1million naira plus) to get his freedom. Family back home in Nigeria had to donate money to transfer to the Captors.

4) Victory is resigned to returning home empty-handed.

This is a serious issue that has demeaning effect on the image of Nigerians all over the world. Hopefully someone in the Ministry of Foreign affairs will look into this and help out Nigerians stuck in Libya.


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