Escape to Europe; Sad stories from Sahara

Chigozie Effe
Migration to Europe for most youngsters especially in developing and undeveloped countries is majorly a topmost priority for them. 
This is due to largely the high rate of poverty which has become the lot of these nations. In an effort to find answers to this challenge, the alternative seems to be illgeal migration as they cannot afford to go through the legal means.
While some make it to Europe through the Mediterranean sea or deserts, some die on the way, others become cheap slaves to the middlemen, just as the females are perpetually abused.
 The horrible experience these irregular migrants face in a bid to escape to Europe is one that calls for concerns as Africa loses great number of youths through illegal migration
According to Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria, over 3,000 irregular migrants including Nigeria in 2018 who attempted to move to Europe through Desert and Mediterrian sea were drowned
According to the body, 30,000 irregular migrants are currently being held in detention centres in Libya and another 750,000 outside. 
The body also noted that inspite of the more than 15,000 migrants who had been released to Nigeria since the beginning of last year; others are believed to still be stranded in different centres like Libya, Egypt and Morocco.
One of the migrants, who made it to Europe through the desert, shared his ugly experience with Thegoziebridge, TGB. Micheal Uwaifo, alongside five others left the shores of Nigeria through Niger Republic for onward movement to Libya and they passed through horrible deserts and reached their final destination, Europe
At first it was a mission impossible, considering the distance coupled with the presence of the agents of darkness who are largely blacks and Arabs in the desert  and  are bent on milking out money from their fellow human beings and will not take no for an answer when their demands are not met. 
In the desert also no one responds to anybody if even it’s your family member that calls your attention-you are in the world of your own.
Uwaifo who spent one year in the desert before arriving Italy, stated “the journey started from Niger and moved to Libya and then headed to the desert. I was able to make it through the desert because i was strong as most of my co travellers who couldn’t withstand the stress passed on””
Uwaifo, a native of Edo State, further explained that, “we used a Hilux van and a car behind us  got an accident and all the passengers onboard who are all Nigerians died. Filled with sympathy for them, we buried them right there in the desert under the scorching sun””.
When asked about their source of feeding, he noted , ”The only food in the desert is what they described as the “”Survival by Bidon”. Survival by bidon is simply Garri and Groundnut. That was what he ate all through to Europe”.
“”It was a sad experience because the hotness of the desert is capable of melting somebody. We saw plenty dead bodies and skeletons in the desert. It was only few of us that made it to Italy, Uwaifo noted.
 Most of the women become readily sex tool as they couldn’t offer bribes to some agents we encountered on our way to Europe”On why he decided to embark on this mission, Uwaifo explained that the lack of jobs coupled poverty in the country forced him to embark on the suicidal trip. 
Uwaifo, however called on youths nursing the ambition of coming to Europe through the desert to have a rethink, adding that his desert experience which was regrettable was one that he would never pray for his enemies to experience. 
Reacting to the issue of irregular migration, Nigeria President, Muhammadu Buhari, last year during the visit by the German Chancellor Angel Merkel, noted that Nigerians migrating illegally to Europe were on their own as he would never support any illegality.
According to the President, “”I am against my country men and women finding their way out of Nigeria. They feel that there are greener pastures there. We don’t support anything illegal. Anybody that does it or feels his country is not offering him the best and defile the desert is doing it at its own risk
To address this problem of irregular migration which is gradually consuming our able bodied youths, the government must as a matter of urgency create an enabling environment for business to strive. 
There should be more awareness on the dangers of illegal migration. The youths must cultivate the habit of working hard and believing in themselves as Escape to Europe through desert is suicidal.


David Chigozie Effe is a journalist with decades of experience and practice. His journalism experience transverses print, broadcast and the new media.
Chigozie Effe is a graduate of International Relations from the Abia State University where he was adjudged as one of the best students in his set.
His love for humanity spurred him into a rear kind of journalism beat that is conspicuously neglected by journalists-Humanitarian reportage. read more

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