Opinion: Why we keep getting more stowaways in Africa
Post created on 12:22 pm
A few days ago, I saw online the photo of a young man who wanted to migrate illegally to another country through the wing of an airplane. In English terms, such is called a stowaway. I read the story on social media and the familiar comments that followed with deep thoughts.
Such a journey is a high risk one and the chances of survival are too low for one to even think about it.
The big question many people seem to run away from isn’t about the act of the stowaway, but the reason why we keep seeing people running away from the continent (Africa) by all means to other parts of the world.
A few years ago, I almost made such a journey by road from Nigeria to Agadez to Libya, through the harsh Sahara Desert to the Mediterranean sea and then to Europe. It was one journey I had prepared myself for until I gave up at the last minute. I knew the risk involved, and I was ready to pay the price because, eventually, all men die. The choice to die in Nigeria or any other place is left in your hands.
For the journey, my friend and I saved up some amount of money until I called it off. He is currently in Italy living a good life with his family. I attribute this to grace. I did a lot of research about the journey online, I read stories to prepare myself for the worst.
Many Nigerians don’t leave the country for fun or tourism sake, but for survival. The zeal to survive is strong.
I think we should tackle the primary reason while we keep getting a lot of stowaways in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan countries, home isn’t good. Many have lost hope in their country, no job, no basic means to survive, low hopes of survival. The option left is to take hold of anything that looks like an opportunity and according to a Nigeria adage, not all opportunities are really opportunities, some are traps in disguise.
Illegal movement of citizens fighting their ways to Europe through the Sahara Desert, stowaways by airplanes, ships, etc are not going to end unless we make our nation a better place. No level of sensitization is going to stop this unless home becomes a place of hope and solace.
How many times do you hear of stowaways from America, Europe, Asia, coming to Africa? Things are not perfect over there, but they’ve created a system of hope and decency within their territory, but this is not the case in Africa.
For every story of stowaways, illegal migration to Europe through the land, human trafficking, etc, the leaders of such countries should see it as a slap on their faces. It boils down to failed leadership and loss of hope in one’s country.
I hope things will be better in the future for Nigerians and Africans.