Slavery: Reps to investigate auctioning of black Africans in Libya

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to liaise with the Libyan Government for solution to the menace of migration and modern day slavery in the North African country.

The call followed a motion by Rep. Saheed Akinade-Fijabi (Oyo-APC) on the “need to investigate the inhuman and barbaric act of slave trade involving the auctioning of black Africans in Libya.’’

Moving the motion, Akinade-Fijabi said that African migrants from nations, including Nigeria, Guinea and Senegal, were making dangerous crossing through the Sahara Desert to Libya.

He said that the journey was aimed at taking them through the Mediterranean Sea to Italy and other European countries in search of greener pastures.

The lawmaker also said that on Nov. 14, 2017, the US-based television network, CNN, broke the news of auctioning of human beings in Libya.

He added that auctioning was with footage of the process in which young men were being sold to North Africans.

He said that the victims were considered as potential farm hands and that one of the unidentified young men, sold at little as 400 dollars was said to be a Nigerian in his twenties.

Akinade-Fijabi added that the footage of the auctioning of black Africans in the conflict-torn nation sparked outrage across the world with thousands of people taking to the streets of Paris to protest against “modern say slavery’’.

In her contribution, Rep. Rita Orji (Lagos-PDP), who expressed concern about how Nigerians were being treated abroad, charged the Libyan Government to put a stop to the slave trade.
She accused the Libyan authorities of benefiting from the business.

The lawmaker also urged the Federal Government to take care of its citizens as it was done in other countries.

On her part, Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje (Abia-PDP) said Federal Government was making effort to bring back its citizens frustrated in Libya.

She called for adequate orientation of youths about the danger of travelling out of the country illegally.

On his part, Rep. Edward Pwajok (Plateau-APC) said that time had come to put the full wrath of the law against adults, who traded human beings outside the shores of the country.

“This is a crime against humanity. It is good we strengthen NAPTIP,’’ Pwajok said.
Rep. Oghene Egoh (Lagos-PDP) suggested that the Libyan Ambassador to Nigeria should be interrogated.

He also called on the Nigeria Police to carry out investigation on those already repatriated.
The House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, blamed the government for inability to provide basics of life for the citizenry.

The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Yussuff Lasun, who presided at the plenary.

The motion was referred to the Committees on Human Rights, and Foreign Affairs to interface with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant stakeholders to identify factors that encouraged migrants to embark on such journey.

The committee was mandated to report back to the House within two weeks. (NAN)

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