Sunday, 31 December 2017 21:04

We Have Questions to ask about President Buhari Bringing Back Nigerians Stranded in Libya

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The news has it that President Buhari of Nigeria has set up a 17-man Fact Finding Mission to bring back Nigerians stranded in Libya. The Mission, which is expected to have gone to Libya to observe the scene, has been given 38 days to complete its work.

It is further reported that "fewer than 5,037" Nigerians have volunteered to return to the country and "about 6,091" have been brought back from Libya through the efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The purpose of this essay is not to claim  we are experts in governance or philanthropy. There are many Nigerians who love the country and are concerned with the well-being of our citizens, We are  interested in ascertaining, finding  out details of Buhari's next move with respect to settling  several hundreds of the Nigerians who have been brought back. If the President's aim is to help  relieve evacuees'  sufferings, there is hope things would get better in Nigeria for our people.

If,  on the other hand, the  President's aim is  borne out of embarrassment  or to temporarily cover or bandage  Nigeria's shameful face in order for the world to stop ridiculing us  or for us to just look good in the eyes of the world, then a hoax has been unfairly perpetrated and things will continue to grow worse. It appears the world is ridiculing Nigerians: "Hoot! They have oil and yet they are poor, unemployed, and now are becoming slaves in a foreign land."

While we commend President Buhari for his magnanimous gesture  in setting up the Fact Finding Mission, several pressing  questions remain to be answered

When did Nigerians begin leaving home for Libya?

How many Nigerians have left home for Libya? .

What are the reasons for the illegal migration to Libya?

What parts of Nigeria are the people leaving  the country come from?

What has the Nigeria government been doing that encourages  citizens to  want to leave home?

What can we do to discourage citizens from embarking on such perilous journeys through the desert and over a deep sea that might lead to death? .

How many survived the journey and arrived alive and how many died?

What is the total number of Nigeria now in Libya besides the "fewer than 5,037" and 6,091 returnees?  .

How many have expressed desire to return home? .

How many wished to remain in Libya and what were reasons for their decision? .

What are the Characteristics of persons leaving home for Libya, including  ages, sex, tribe, educational levels,  and so forth?

We ask too many questions with due respect  to presidency because it takes much more than "missions to bring home" and instruction to bring home in 38 days, to solve a monumental problem.  What happens after the citizens are brought home?  How are they to be re-integrated into a society that had abandoned them and that they had wanted to abandon?

Look at it this way: you have a girl friend or boyfriend you had jilted sometimes ago. To jilt is to reject, leave, drop, ditch, abandon, split up with, or walk out on someone. It is a bad feeling to be rejected by a lover. It also is a bad feeling to seek out the ex-lover who rejected you in the first place. Things have fallen apart, and things need to be put back right.

This is a dilemma  for both Nigeria and the people who were ejected or forced to leave by unpleasant conditions. You ask: " How and when did Nigeria  eject  people?" When bad conditions force a tenant to leave his/her home that constitutes constructive ejection . A man is ejected by violence, threat of violence, government  policies that make security and employment impossible.

You may have remembered that your old  "boy/girl"  is good after the break-up, and you are all bent over backwards in your efforts to find him or her  in order to reconcile and reconnect the relationship. It's not easy, it is like returning to a vomit. This reminds us of the Bible story of a prophet named Hosea who was abandoned by a wife who went on to become a temple prostitute. God told poor Hosea: "Go find her and love her as you had loved her before she left you."   Being the faithful prophet that he was, Hosea had no choice.

What are Buhari and his government going to do with and for the citizens they are bringing back to Nigeria  from Libya, plus those that are being repatriated from around the world for illegal immigration or other violations?

The usual government response or social work practice should not be to give the returnees a  few Naira and instructions to" go back where you come from." Going  back to where one comes from could mean going back to crimes  in order to eat a meal a day or to idleness  that comes from unemployment.

A s we are writing this essay, we are receiving news of the re-arrest of 14 of the  47 prison escapees from Ikot Ekpene Prison system  that was built with the capacity of 400  prisoners in mind  but that is currently holding 831 inmates. The prison head count  is over twice the original allowable capacity. The Akwa Ibom prison has witnessed numerous  riots and murders. Our question again is: what purpose does the decision to re-arrest serve? The re-arrested prisoners might as well be allowed to go free.

What Nigeria government needs to embark upon is a  massive rehabilitation programs to save the citizens from dire hardships. A hardship is dire when it is hopeless, terrible, awful, calamitous, ominous, dreadful, horrible, bleak, dismissal, grim, or very bad. It is bad when every citizen wants to leave the country even when it means going into slavery.

It would be a good gesture if the Nigerian Government undertakes  the revitalization and  rehabilitation programs for the masses. Revitalize the economy to keep citizens at home. Rehabilitate the disabled war veterans of the Biafran War and battles with the boko haran.

These soldiers who had served their nation and lost limbs in the process, should be trained and equipped with  useful skills they can market. Examples include but are not limited to: Tailoring, woodwork, auto mechanics, small engine repair, computer repair, assembling of computer parts=, toys,  and electronics.

Nigerians are very intelligent, they learn very fast, and they will appreciate the opportunity to feel fulfilled and develop a sense of self-actualization with government assistance and help from the private sector.

The government can partnership with Nigeria's wealthy importers and business owners to help build factories that would employ hundreds of our graduates. The government may work with the private sectors through by extending grants, law-interest loans, and free land on which to build factories. Thousands of recent college graduates can continue to serve as uniformed Youth Corpers, Peace Officers, and Community Organizers.

Other avenues the government may pursue include but are not limited to employment of university and college graduates in road construction, building of affordable housing , revamping  of dilapidated  school and university buildings, food distribution, and construction of sidewalks, public  toilets/latrines, and landfills for the disposal of garbage/refuse.

Dr. james C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ;


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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.