General News of Saturday, 2 December 2017
The harrowing experience of a Ghanaian migrant who paid GH¢6,500 for a trip to Spain but was abandoned in Libya by his agent has got many questioning why he did not stay in the country.
“I was desperate for money so when a friend told me about the trip to Spain, I opted for it without thinking twice,” the returnee who was part of the 127 migrants flown home by government told Myjoyonline.com Thursday.
But the dream of the man who asked to be identified as Kofi was shuttered after his agent abandoned him in Libya, he narrated.
“In Libya, I was arrested and detained by a militia group for months,” he said, adding “I was released after I had paid a ransom of $500.”
Joy News and DW TV collaborated to organise a Town Hall Meeting at the ISSER Conference Room at the University of Ghana Thursday to explore solutions to the migration crisis in Africa.
The event was triggered by a CNN footage from Libya that showed hundreds of African migrants being auctioned off as farm workers.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has estimated there are between 700,000 and one million people in Libya, awaiting their turn to cross the Mediterranean.
Migration experts say at least 150,000 people have crossed it within the last three years.
Kofi wanted to use the sea to Europe after his release but stories about the death of his colleagues crossing the Mediterranean were enough to put fear in him.
“I was afraid I could die,” he said.
But his story like that of others has got many Ghanaians wondering why he will give ¢6,500 to an agent when he could have invested it in the country.
Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid has said the government is treating the migrant slavery situation in Libya seriously.
He said the implementation of the ‘one-district one-factory’ programme, is one of the many ways the government has devised to keep Ghanaians in the country.