20 November 2017

Nigeria: Calabar Carnival - Ayade Campaigns Against Illegal Migration By Africans

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has called on intending African migrants to America and European countries in search of greener pasture to be cautious with the risk involved.

Relatedly, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, is leading Nigerian delegation to Italy to discuss women empowerment and the fight against human trafficking.

Ayade made the call sunday in Calabar during the flag-off of the 2017 second carnival dry run with the theme: 'Migration'.

According to Ayade, the theme of the carnival was chosen in recognition of the plights of Africans who are forced to migrate out of the continent in search of greener pasture and help.

"Not too long ago, we lost about 20 Nigerians who died in the Mediterranean Sea while crossing to Europe in search of greener pasture.

"The excessive migration of young people out of African in search of greener pasture in Europe and America has coursed us the death of many young people.

"The Calabar carnival uses that opportunity to expose the risk incident of such migration. Africans must understand that the carnival is not all about the street dance, but the interpretation of the theme.

"This theme is very critical. I wonder why the world will not focus on Calabar this year.

" We are trying to tell the world that Africa is rich enough to be independent and our young men and women will not have to cross to foreign countries at the peril of their own life in search of alternative sources of income," he said.

The governor said the activities of the various carnival bands will be focused on the interpretation of the theme by way of creating awareness for the intending migrants.

Relatedly, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, is leading Nigerian delegation to Italy to discuss women empowerment and the fight against human trafficking.

The visit is coming on the heels of the death of 26 Nigerian women in the Mediterranean sea who lost their lives while trying to cross to Europe.

The Italian government had extended invitation to the Speaker to attend an international conference on 'Women empowerment and the fight against trafficking in persons: The Partnership between Nigeria and Italy' which will take place in Rome.

This is sequel to the official visit of the President of Italian Chamber of Deputies, Ms. Laura Boldrini, to the Speaker in May 2017.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, and Director General of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ms Julie Okah-Donli, are among the delegation.

The Nigerian delegation are billed to attend the conference on the invitation of the Italian Parliament who are seeking partnership with Nigeria to stem human trafficking especially the increasing number of Nigerian citizens that enter Italy every year.

During her visit to Speaker Dogara, in May this year, Boldrini had lamented that in 2016 alone, 37,000 Nigerians arrived in Italy through the Mediterranean sea.

The conference also seeks ways of empowering Nigerian women to stop the illegal and dangerous migration of Nigerians to Europe.

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