It was circumstance that forced them to leave Nigeria and to travel to Libya. For several years after leaving school they had been without job. They had pounded through the length and breadth of the country looking for what to do in order to make ends meet, but there was nothing on hand.
They sought for help from friends and relations, but nobody was able to assist, probably because the people themselves were in a similar situation, equally without job, or have been working without receiving their regular monthly wage bill.
They sought solace in private industries, but did not find any. Most of the private industries have closed shop. The economy was in a shambles. Those in private business were not finding it easy. The country’s currency, the Naira, had turned almost into a worthless piece of paper and nothing meaningful was be bought with it.
They were tired, fagged out and completely worn out. It was indeed a hopeless situation. In desperation, they thought of what else to do. An idea came to them, which was to seek for their fortune outside the shores of the country.
It was to Libya that they decided to travel. For several days they traveled on foot through the Sahara Desert. They went without food and water. It was an agonizing and horrifying experience. They saw some of their colleagues who could no longer make it, who could not cope with such hellish and agonizing situation, gave up ghost and lay lifeless in the Desert. They ignored them and continued to forge ahead.
Finally, they set their feet on Libya. To their chagrin, they saw that it was not what they had thought it to be, that Libya was another hell on earth. They began to face a very horrible situation. Yes, they were indeed busily engaged in Libya quite unlike when they were in Nigeria, but this time, they were being used as chattels, in a layman’s language, as slaves.
They were made the beasts of burden, being driven around and made to do every sort of tasking, menial and despicable jobs in that country. They were not the owner of their products, but that of those who bought them with some miserable amount of money.
Somehow, news about their plight and suffering in Libya began to filter to the outside world. There was worldwide condemnation. Everybody expressed shock, disbelief and indignation that such a primitive act and man’s inhumanity to man could still be obtained in this day and age.
There were calls on the Federal Government of Nigeria to intervene immediately and save Nigerian citizens in that country. The government heeded the call and moved in swiftly and began to evacuate Nigerian citizens from Libya. Everybody hailed them.
Back to the country, the evacuees were distributed to their various states of origin. At their various states’ capitals, a red carpet was rolled out to welcome the evacuees. They were hailed, patted on the back and told to go in peace and be of good behaviour.
But can this be the end of the Libyan experience? We hardly think so. So long as millions of Nigerian youths continue to roam the streets without jobs, without any definable future for them, and the government is looking the other way, there must be Libya.
Thousands of other Nigerian youths who are equally passing through that horrifying experience as in Libya, are scattered all over the world. These include those who have been executed or are still waiting to be executed for drug offences in some Asian countries; those who have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea; those currently languishing in various jails across the globe, etc.
Libya is a sad reminder of a country that has failed in its duties to provide or to invest in the future of its youths. Every year thousands of Nigerian youths pass out from various universities, but nobody bothers to spare a thought about what they would do at the end of the day or how to keep them busy. Out of desperation or frustration, these youths, after waiting for a long while and saw that the government had no plans for them, decide on “Libya”, whether by fair or foul means.