The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan has decried the alarming rate of illegal migration by Nigerian youths and called on the Federal Government to make the country habitable.
The prelate, at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday, ahead of the church’s national conference on irregular migration, added that if the country is inhabitable, youths would leave with the mindset that things will be better abroad.
He urged the youths to be patient because they are considered unwanted as illegal migrants.
“If you are an illegal migrant, you have no right wherever you are; you are likely to be manipulated, exploited. You cannot even complain if you are not being treated well, because when you do and go to the police, the first thing they ask you is, where are your papers? If you have no papers, then you have no standing.
“It is a terrible thing to live in a nation where you are considered unwanted, and because of the difficulty of crossing these boundaries, illegal migration leads to trafficking.”
He advised that the best way to curb illegal migration is to make the country habitable, so people can travel at will and with dignity.
“The first remedy is to make Nigeria the home of Nigerians, not that they shouldn’t travel, but do so when and how they want to, freely and with dignity.
“When they now make Nigeria in a way that home becomes uninhabitable, that the youths just want to get out, you hear young people saying that there is no way it won’t be better out there.
“If you live in a nation where your young people are telling you this, then what kind of nation is that?, If I was president of that nation, I will resign,” he maintained.