Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged African leaders to probe the death of illegal migrants in the Mediterranean.
Obasanjo in a statement said ”The incident is the direct action of Western powers which is responsible for the current anarchy in the country.
“It is thus a matter of considerable sadness for me when I witness the current wave of desperate youths risking their lives to travel to Europe and the futile efforts of European countries to deal with those who have already set sailing or have even reached shores of the European continent.
“The current inflow of African refugees into Europe from Libya is a direct consequence. The government in Libya which in 2000 acted humanely and responsibly to stem the outflow of illegal migrants to Europe has been replaced by unconscionable bandits and terrorists who have forcibly seized the instruments of state to facilitate human trafficking and illegal migration for their own material benefit.
“It is time for the international community and particularly African leaders to take a good look at the factors responsible for the death and destruction in the Mediterranean by illegal migration of youths from Africa and address the causes in an honest, responsible, humane and holistic manner rather than the current futile attempt to half-heartedly deal with the symptoms rather than the cause.
“The sure way of prevention is the elimination of conflict and abject poverty and creation of employment in the countries where migrants originate. In the meantime, let African union, AU form a bulwark to stem the spate of migrants from Africa across the Mediterranean to Europe. It can be done.
“Sometime in September 2000, Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Ghaddafi brought to my attention the presence in Libya of thousands of Nigerian illegal immigrants attempting to make their way to Europe.
“These illegal immigrants almost entirely consisting of young men and women, who were prevented from using the facilities of Libya to sail to Europe had constituted themselves into a menace.’’