Obasanjo laments exodus of Africans to Europe
FORMER President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has expressed deep concern about what he described as current wave of desperate youths risking their lives to travel to Europe “and futile efforts of European countries to deal with those who have already set sail or have even reached shores of the European continent.”
He challenged the international community, particularly African leaders to take an urgent look at factors responsible for the “death and destruction” in the Mediterranean by illegal African immigrants and address the causes.
Obasanjo, who spoke in a statement he issued in Abeokuta yesterday stated, “The current inflow of African refugees into Europe is a direct consequences of lack of effective governance in Libya.”
His words, “It is undeniable the fact that the vacuum created by the lack of effective governance in that country (Libya) precipitated by direct action of Western powers is responsible for the current anarchy in that country, even though there are strenuous efforts to deny it.”
Obasanjo recalled that in 2000, when similar situation occurred in Libya where many African illegal immigrants from other African countries trooped to Libya with the aim of crossing to Europe, the then Libyan Head of State, Muammar Gadaffi got in touch with him (Obasanjo) as Nigeria’s President and both of them, with the co-operation of the other African leaders airlifted their indigenes to their various countries.
The statement, which was titled, “Facing the Facts about African Illegal Immigration to Europe”, indicated, “It is thus a matter of considerable sadness for me when I witness the current wave of desperate youths risking their lives to travel to Europe and the futile efforts of European countries to deal with those who have already set sail or have even reached shores of the European continent.”
The government in Libya, which in 2000 acted humanely and responsibly to stem the outflow of illegal migrants to Europe has been replaced by unconscionable bandits and terrorists who have forcibly seized the instruments of state to facilitate human trafficking and illegal migration for their own material benefit.
For solution to the crisis, the former President suggested, “The sure way of prevention is the elimination of conflict and abject poverty and creation of employment in the countries where migrants originate.
In the meantime, let AU form a bulwark to stem the spate of migrants from Africa across the Mediterranean to Europe. It can be done.”