General News of Saturday, 2 December 2017
A Legal practitioner and law lecturer has called for the suspension of the celebration of the African Union (AU) holiday until the body stands up and do something about the unfortunate happenings in Libya.
Ace Kojo Annan Ankomah has charged the Union to move beyond mere talk and get African leaders to do something to better the lives of its citizens.
He told Samson Lardy Anyenini on Joy FM/Multi TV’s news analysis show, Newsfile Saturday, that he is worried that France is headlining the fight by taking the recent case of the slave trade in Libya to the UN Security Council.
“What is the AU doing? Until the AU is able to fix this; either through law or force, we should stop celebrating the AU Day as a holiday in the six extremely rich African countries which celebrate it,” he said.
The AU Day is celebrated as a national holiday by Ghana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Gambia, Mali and Zambia.
Mr Ankomah is surprised that countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Ethiopia, where the AU headquarters is situated, do not have the luxury to take a day off to celebrate Africa.
His comments follow footage released by CNN from Libya which showed hundreds of young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned as farm workers.
The North African country has for years been the gateway for Africans who are trying to get to Europe by sea.
Migration experts have estimated that more than 150,000 people have crossed it within the last three years.
But the crisis has created a situation where some African migrants are reportedly sold by their raiders in open slave markets.
Mr Ankomah said the sad development is a tell-tale sign that African leaders have to fixed their respective countries to limit the pull factors because “people dying on the Mediterranean is not a deterrent.”
“We ought to do something about the push factors and every West African who has tried this [journeying to Libya] is a shame on West African governments,” he added.
According to him, African leaders have not done well by improving the living standards in their countries and by extension the lives of the people.
He said they amass wealth for themselves instead of focusing on creating opportunities for their citizens.
“We should look these things and see how are going to fix our economy in such a way that the push factors will be limited. Until we do that they [West] will tell us when to pass our laws…”, he said.
He urged people to stop sharing and broadcasting WhatsApp messages about such recruitments as many of them turn out to be scams, which feed into illegal migration.