Checking out – Report from this week’s #RubbinMinds

by Isi Esene

This week on Rubbin’ Minds, the discussion was about the apparent desperation of Nigerians to travel abroad and what many prospective travelers go through while exploring illegal means of relocating abroad.

Before the topic of the day, Francesca Uriri, was in the Rubbin’ Minds studio to talk about the #FashionAgainstCancer: Fashion Fantasia! fund raising event set to hold on November 25.

Fashion Fantasia is a benefit fashion show and fundraising for breast and cervical cancer. The objective of the event is to raise funds for 500 women to receive free breast and cervical cancer screening as well as to raise funds to assist two women who already have cancer, and are financially unable to pay for their medication.

According to Uriri: “Cancer is a concern… all kinds of cancer. If you’re sexually active, you need to also take the vaccine as well.”

The guests in the studio to discuss about this week’s topic are; popular rap artiste and UN ambassador against illegal migration, M.I Abaga, Osita Osemene, and Mohammed Babandede.

Ferdinand Adimefe and Shade Ladipo were on hand to anchor the programme.

M.I Abaga spoke about his perception of checking out of the country saying, “When I got to America, Chicago to be precise, the first thing that struck me was ‘Why invest my life and my energy in another country instead of my country’. We always believe anywhere else is better but it doesn’t have to be that way.”

Mohammed Babandede, the assistant comptroller of Immigration on Migration said his department operates to ensure that immigrants travel with knowledge and not to travel and get stranded.

Babandede said, “Nigerian migrants are now well respected abroad due to the genuineness of our passport which contains the migrant’s biometric data.”

Shade Ladipo asked Osita Osemene why he attempted to travel abroad illegally and he answered saying it was “unemployment”.

According to Osemene, “I had finished my education and looked for a job for about three years without getting a job so I decided to leave the country.

“It was when I got to the International Airport in Lagos that I was told that I was holding a fake UK visa. I decided to go by road to Europe and an immigration cartel offered to help but it was a dangerous journey.

“I saw young men dying on the way and I finally decided to return to Nigeria and start this advocacy programme against illegal immigration which is why I am here.”

Babandede said the government is “organising a sensitization programme to discourage illegal immigration. We have a booklet which we hope to distribute widely so as to reach and educate as many people as we can.”

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