Victims of Modern Slavery are not only illegal migrants used as slaves and sex workers in the Middle East, Europe and Americas. While African and Indian physicians have gained sympathy from the International Press in the United Kingdom, one of the most exploited legally, are the Care Workers. Modern Slavery gang masters have taken advantage of the shortage of health and care workers to channel Africans into the United Kingdom through relaxed legal means by unscrupulous agents inside and outside the U.K and USA.
One of the Care Workers was told her salary would be 29,000 British pounds. She was happy to leave her abusive husband in Africa. She took her three children and her mother to look after them while working. The promised salary was enough to rent an apartment for her and the family in the UK. She was forced to work 20 hours a day, sometimes 7 days a week.
This is in a country where the minimum wage was 10.42 pounds, she was paid 2 (two) pounds an hour! She could not afford an apartment. Of course, they became homeless while she was still working long hours. If the exploited family did not gain the attention of Human Rights and Authority, she would still be laboring in squalor in her dream Western world.
Migration has become the leading cause of human displacement creating hard feelings and used to elect members by the extremist parties and world’s religious Right across Europe and America. Political opportunists are seizing on hard sentiment locally against outsiders to push their agenda at home as our Youths flood abroad seeking greener pastures. Regardless of backlash against them, they brush it off as Salvation and send cute pictures back home.
Unfortunately, the hostilities Africans face outside their Continent is getting worse. Despite this, those outside the Continent rationalize and even glorify the problem they face using any token appointments, jobs and education to justify greener pastures. We flee African countries, blame the problems on those that have no choice but to stay put and make a living anyway they can. If you can do better, we will be at home fixing the problems.
Migration has turned us against one another locally and internationally. If you want peace and prosperity, charity begins at home. It is sheer false hope and aggrandizement to think life can only get better at the other side of the river. Despite the growing problems of Climate change and food distribution, there is more arable land at home. People have to till the ground to survive. We may be paid to do the hard work but that money can neither spring up from arable land or grow on trees.
What we do with whatever money we are paid abroad or locally is what makes the difference. Nobody pays you what you are worth anywhere, they pay you just enough to make sure you keep coming back for more, to render your services. They know you must buy food, finished goods and services. If you do not have the money in hand, banks and lending institutions are waiting to pay your masters off while you pay banks monthly for the rest of your lives.
One of the best illustrations are big corporations selling seeds to farmers they cannot reproduce. The more seeds the farmers buy, the more they owe. Using their land as collateral to borrow money ends in a vicious circle; losing their land and getting poorer than when they started. Big international corporations know the end game and work in connivance with the politicians that take their cuts upfront as kickbacks or political contributions.
This is the case in point for farmers going bankrupt after borrowing money from the banks to buy seeds. Genetically modified seeds that cannot replicate themselves are not the answer. We cannot depend on a few corporations making money for a few shareholders to feed the world. It has to be a cooperative farming process that turns Western Nigeria into Paradise for Africans and the rest of the world’s adventurers looking for accommodation in the Region.
We have to wake up to those who tell us to bow our heads or close our eyes while they pray for the salvation of the country. The days God or Allah coming down with miracles are gone, Heaven only helps those that help themselves. Nigeria is not the only country where religion, especially foreign ones are used to perpetrate the worst form of man’s inhumanity to man.
Politicians are using worse tactics than the Europeans of encouraging one ethnic group to dominate another. Vagabonds In Power are distracting us by creating problems within since the Curse Of Oil in Nigeria. The more foreign income made from Oil, the more environmental Degradation and less money to take care of the basic needs of the local people in particular not to mention the whole Country.
It is no longer the active participation of the colonial masters, even with the vestiges of slavery. Africans have come to believe that they are better off outside the Continent than they are inside and would sell their conscience and birthright to get out of their countries. We no longer think there is a future in African countries with the xenophobia and killing within each ethnic group to gain access to the National Cake.
It was bad enough when one ethnic group crossed the border to attack another. It is getting worse: we are killing one another within the same ethnic groups. When “My People Are Killing My People” in Warri, we thought it was madness for Ijaw, Urhobo and Itshekiri to get absorbed in inter tribal warfare. It has now spread beyond that in Southern and Northern Nigeria in disguise for enforcing ethnic and tribal loyalty.
Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa