Cardinal John Oneiyekan of Abuja, has said that the Nigerian government must take steps to revive economic prospects, in order to curb the flow of emigrants and thereby stop providing opportunities for human trafficking.
The Cardinal launched an appeal to the government to take urgent measures to relaunch the economy of the Country, in order to create jobs for young people. “Maybe the government are telling people to look for other ways of making a living, go to farm but government will have to do a little bit more to make it possible for young people to go to farm or do other things but to just sit down doing nothing and rotting away is a little bit frustrating“.
Migrants are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, the Nigerian cardinal told a conference on that topic.
He remarked that people are given the impression that if they travel to Europe, their lives will be better. “It is not true,” the cardinal said. “It can be worse over there than what you are facing here. At least here you have no winter; you can sleep under the bridge. You cannot sleep under the bridge there. You will die of cold.”
Cardinal Oneiyekan said that Nigerian people should be able to find work and maintain a decent living in their own country, because “immigration to an unknown destination is not the real answer.”
“Human trafficking is likely to increase the number of frustrated people who cannot make ends meet. You know by the time you finish university and you are roaming the streets for three, four, five and six years no job and you reach 30 or 31 years of age with no future, it is very difficult to sit down quietly“, added Cardinal Oneiyekan.
The Conference was on human trafficking, and was organised by Caritas Internationalis and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People. It was held in Abuja.