By Umar Muhammad Puma
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the struggle for total and unconditional emancipation of the unfortunate victims of slavery in Libya and other places where slave trade is happening by deploying Nigeria’s diplomatic and military clout to put an end to it.
This is just as he challenged the stand of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the issue, saying their voices on the ongoing inhuman trade have been too feeble.
According to the Speaker, who made the statement in a speech delivered in plenary titled, “Confronting The Scourge Of Human Trafficking And Modern Slavery,” history will remember President Buhari as one of Africa’s great statesme if he successfully leads the campaign to eradicate modern slavery.
He stated, “Permit me to use this opportunity to call on Mr President and Commander in Chief to lead this struggle for total and unconditional emancipation of the unfortunate victims of this scourge.
“History beckons on our President with a gold pen and a page reserved for only Africa’s great Statesmen if he successfully leads the campaign to eradicate modern slavery. Mr President should, if necessary, deploy Nigeria’s diplomatic and military clout on this matter. We would like to see an immediate convening of emergency session of the ECOWAS and AU to launch a rescue operation as soon as possible. As it is, the voices of ECOWAS and AU are unacceptably too feeble on this devastating issue.”
He commended the French President, Mr Emmanuel Macron, for taking a principled position on the matter and applying pressure on the United Nations (UN) to take urgent steps in dealing with this scourge and appealed to other nations who value freedom and the dignity of the human person to join France in working out a permanent solution to the resurgent evil.
He said that the time for the world to take responsibility and act is now.
He concluded by echoing the words of His Holiness, Pope Francis who said: “Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity. It is time to join forces and work together to free its victims and to eradicate this crime that affects all of us, from individual families to the worldwide community”.
He maintained that Nigeria has a responsibility to ensure that slave trade is brought to an end and every single slave liberated.