From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the fight against modern day slavery.
Dogara, who resumed work, yesterday, after his participation in a conference convened by the president of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Laura Bodrini on “Women empowerment and the fight against trafficking in persons: The partnership between Nigeria and Italy,” said the country has a major role to play in ending modern slavery.
In his address at yesterday’s plenary, Dogara urged the president to “deploy Nigeria’s diplomatic and military clout on this matter. Permit me to seize 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 African Union (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.
“It is my considered opinion that we are all involved in this crime, either as perpetrators or those who are aiding and abetting human trafficking, by standing aloof, for we are ultimately responsible for what we allow or permit.
“There is a place for Nigeria in all these.
“As the most populous black nation on earth, we must accept the fact that if any black man or woman falls, it would be because Nigeria lacks strength.
“Until the last modern slave is freed, we would have done nothing and our generation will bear this shame forever,” he added.
Dogara also announced that the House will host a conference on human trafficking and modern slavery, and has directed a consolidation of investigations into the slave trade going on in Libya, with a probe of the death of the 26 girls at sea.
He equally directed the committees to commence work immediately.