Slavery in the 21st century must be condemned ―Obasanjo

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Nigeria’s former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, condemned the act of slavery in the 21st century, saying  anyone found guilty of this act must not be excused for any reason.
Obasanjo said this at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Annual Conference of the Comptroller General of Immigration Service,  held in Abeokuta, that African leaders should reflect on what they have done or what they ought not to do which could have warranted this ugly development.
He said slavery should be condemned in the strongest language, insisting that the “undignifying and humanizing” act must not be encouraged.
Obasanjo noted that genuine exchange of goods and services among African nations is one of the antidote that would bring about development within the country, sub-region, continent and the world.
The former president while speaking on the theme of the conference “Managing Migration and Facilitating Trade and Development in the 21st Century Nigeria: NIS perspective”, that migration from one place to the other usually brings about development, but expressed worries that Africans now engaged in the illicit business of slavery.

He said,  “I believe that slave trade in the 21st century should be condemned in the strongest language possible and nobody who is involved in it should be excused. What can we do and what must we do?

“We must ensure that conducive atmosphere is created for genuine exchange of goods and ensure development within our country, sub-region, continent and the world which we live in.

“Without movement there can be no development. And movement means migration. But then today, migration has a very nasty connotation particularly when you watch the television and you hear the story of thousands of our youths daring to go through the desert. Then after they have done such hazardous journey, some of them are being sold as slaves. “Slaves in the 21stcentury, Africans being sold by Africans and maybe to Africans. Making human beings as instrument merchants, property to be sold and commodity; humanizing and undignifying what God has created to be dignified and uplifted.

“As if that is not bad enough, these people go further and many of them find the Mediterranean Sea as a common grave. This means they terminate their lives. Why do they do this? It is because they believe they could get greener pasture elsewhere. What they believe they lack in their own country maybe gotten outside their own country.

“So what does this means? It means that all of us as leaders must feel a sense of regret and have sober reflection on what we have done or what we have not done to bring this about to our own people.”

The Comptroller – General of NIS, Muhammad Babandede, warned his officials at the Passport office at the borders, travel agencies and people who engaged in smuggling of migrants to stop such act forthwith, saying anyone found culpable would be dealt with in the face of the law.

He explained that the National Identity Number would be part of the requirements of the Service before the issuance of Nigerian passport from January 2018.

Babandede said the service remain committed to safe and regular migration to prevent the sad tales of loss of lives.

The post Slavery in the 21st century must be condemned ―Obasanjo appeared first on Tribune.

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