Is life in Libya far better than the poverty in Ghana?
Youth in the Brong Ahafo Region remain defiant in their resolve to travel to Libya en route to European countries regardless of the recent expose on slavery and the murder of black youth from others parts of Africa.
The youth, especially, those from Nkoranza, Techiman and Berekum are still bent on travelling to overseas through Libya despite the dangers involved.
This was disclosed by the Chief Superintendent of Immigration in charge of the Migration Information Centre at Sunyani, James Hayford Boadi yesterday in an interview with the DAILY GUIDE.
He said even though the centre is trying its best to convince the youth from embarking on such dangerous trips, their response has persistently been their preference for hardship in Libya to hunger and joblessness in Ghana.
Brong Ahafo tops the other regions in terms of youth migration to Europe through the North African countries. “So far, Nkoranza, Berekum and Techiman are the leading producers of illegal immigrants most of whom have little or no knowledge about what awaits them on the way and their final destination,” he said.
There are more than 1, 500 illegal Ghanaian immigrants in Libya, he said adding that between January and October 2017 a total of 3,669 Ghanaians returned from Libya. The breakdowns are 406 Greater Accra, 536 Ashanti, 129 Central and 164 Western. The rest are 155 Volta, 151 Upper West, 224 Upper East, 298 Northern, 180 Eastern and 1,426 Brong Ahafo.
He explained that in the wake of the crisis, the government through the Ghana Immigration Service evacuated 127 Ghanaians on 29th of November 2017 into the country. 29 from Brong Ahafo, 6 from Eastern, 2 from Northern, 3 from Volta, 18 from Ashanti and 30 from Western. The rests are, 5 from Greater Accra, 23 from Central and 11 from Upper East.
He said each returnee was given GH¢ 400 to help them get to their respective homes in the country. He pleaded with the youth in the region to listen to travel advice from the centre adding that Libya is not safe. He appealed to the youth in the region to engage in farming because there are fertile lands in Brong Ahafo which are good for cash crops like cashew and cocoa.
The Migration Information Centre was set up in February, 2016 to educate youth in the region about the dangers of illegal migration and is funded by the European Union and the International Organization for Illegal Migration and the Japanese government.
Daniel Y Dayee, Sunyani