Statement by the IIDN Board on the Migrant Trade Markets in Libya by Chiamaka Mogo

The Board of the Initiative for Inclusive Dialogue in Nigeria (IIDN) is united in its condemnation, of the ongoing “slave” trade markets in Libya. We are devastated to see that such a crisis is still existing. This is sadly, yet another time to remind the world, that every human being is born with an inherent right to freedom and justice. The sellers and buyers of vulnerable Black, African migrants have caused us at IIDN, feelings of disappointment and pain. Many of these vulnerable migrants now being used as slaves are Nigerians.

The intervention of the governments of the home countries, of these migrants is an urgent necessity. We also acknowledge that these migrants fleeing home were looking for a better life. They were looking for a new home that seemed to hold a promise of being better, than their own home, where governance failed. As such, we urge the countries from which these migrants hail, to look inwards and build a nation, where everyone has a very fair chance at succeeding.

Individual Statements of IIDN’s Board Members:

“Even though we have challenged slavery and oppression for years, this is still happening. It is a result of poor governance, that people are willing to risk their lives at sea and to slavery. It is a reflection of poor governance. We have to do a lot of work, ourselves, as citizens of Africa.”

May-Marie Duwai-Sowa (Vice President of the Board)

“It is heartbreaking and saddening. There is a whole life to this person that you put a cost of $400 to. Why couldn’t it be that - “These people are trying to have a better life, let’s help them to have a better life?”. To think that it is a better option to sell a person and thinking that you can put a value on someone’s life, breaks my heart.”

Ellen Edet, (Public Relations Officer of the Board)

“It is just disappointing to see that it (slavery) is still going on and that people who are trying to get a better life are being taken advantage of. It is super sad and it is crazy to see that the perpetrators are willing to sell people, to make money and take advantage of these people that are trying to improve their lives, and making money out of that. Even more shocking is the people who buy the “slaves”. That’s the crazier thing.”

Timmy Guo (Development Officer of the Board)

“The issue of migrant slave markets in Libya is deeply disturbing. When a fellow human being stretches out a hand to one, you should in turn offer a hand, to help and not to manipulate and dehumanize that person. I urge the leaders of the African nations of which the migrants originate, to do everything within their capacity, to have these migrants liberated and returned home. Genuine and swift action is what is needed, at this time.”

Chiamaka Mogo (President of the Board)

Signed,
The Initiative for Inclusive Dialogue in Nigeria

Expeditious Investigation into the Events of the Eke Ukwu Market Demolition is Required by Chiamaka Mogo

Date: September 1st, 2017

Subject: Expeditious Investigation into the Events of the Eke Ukwu market (Imo State) Demolition is Required

Last week Saturday, the renowned Eke Ukwu market of Imo State was demolished, based on an order issued by the State government. This action has led to anger, complaints and also the use of force by those in uniform, against protesting citizens.

The Initiative for Inclusive Dialogue (IIDN) condemns to the fullest, this fatal abuse of power and office by these armed officials whose mandate is to protect the lives and rights of the public. IIDN is threading the path of other concerned groups and citizens in calling for an expeditious investigation by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). We request and urge that the investigation cover broad grounds, especially the following:

- whether or not traders were given fair consultations and notice before the demolition
- an investigation in line with the police and army forces of Imo State, in order to hold to account, all involved in the shootings that claimed lives, including that of a 10-year old boy - Somtochukwu Ibeanusi.

Nigeria is a society of laws which were implemented to guard human rights. It is vile and unacceptable for our government leaders and security agencies to execute unlawfulness. When you treat human lives and rights as though they are negotiable, you create a scarred society. A scarred society breads failure in its different forms, it breeds division.

IIDN sends its sincere empathy to all those who are mourning a form of loss, due to the events hat ensued from the demolition of the Eke Ukwu market in Imo State. We again, urge the NHRC to act swiftly and justly on this matter.

Signed,
The Initiative for Inclusive Dialogue in Nigeria

Please note: This statement was originally posted on IIDN's website on September 1st, 2017. It is now being reposted, due to technical changes to our website.