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Friday, 1 December 2017

Libya slave auction: Group asks AU to convene emergency summit


Dr Ifedi Okwenna, Director-General, Save Democracy Group
The Save Democracy Africa (SDA), a non-partisan organisation, has urged the African Union (AU) to convene an emergency session to discuss slave auctions in Libya.
Sen. Jonathan Zwingina, former Deputy Senate Leader made the call shortly after he was announced as the new Chairman, SDA’s Governing Council on Thursday in Abuja.
Former National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Dr Okwy Nwodo, former Governor of Edo State, Prof.Oserheimen Osunbor, Engr. Abba Gana and Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu were also among 45 persons inaugurated as members of SDA’s Governing Council.
Zwingina said that the greatest shame of Africa was taking place in Libya, describing the situation as the worst of dehumanisation on the continent and even in the world.
“Human beings, particularly black Africans, are auctioned like cattle in shadowy markets and the victims include Nigerians; all Africans who love democracy must find this repugnant and totally disgraceful.
“We do recognise that Libya has two parallel governments and that none of the governments has effective control over the entire country.
“Nonetheless, we urge the AU to convene an emergency summit to discuss the slave auctions in Libya.
“A special delegation should be dispatched to Libya to liaise with the Libyan Government  recognised by AU to get to the root of the auctions and arrest all the auctioneers and free the slaves.’’
He said that countries of origin of the victims should be identified and encouraged to develop policies that stop human trafficking.
The former Senate Leader said that Nigerian practice of democracy had lasted for 17 years, adding that Nigerian people must be commended for the gains of democracy achieved so far.
He said that despite the gains, there were many lapses in Nigeria’s democratic journey which were exacerbated by corruption, insurgencies, social conflicts, unemployment and poverty.
The chairman urged governments at all levels to address the issues squarely.
He said that job of SDA was to act as a think tank for the development of Africa.
“With the cooperation of the member and admirers, this council shall in the next three years build a stronger organisation with a strong resource base for effective advocacy in Africa.
“On our part , we pledge to work very hard to realize the objectives of this organization,’’ he said.
Earlier in his speech, the Director-General , SDA, Dr Ifedi Okwenna, said that being a member of the council was a call to duty.
He said that the members were expected to bring their expertise, contacts and networks towards developing a reservoir of talents that would always be available for developing Africa.
The highlight of the event was  the unveiling of the symbol of the 2018 Annual National Political Summit scheduled for Jan. 22 to Jan. 24, 2018.
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