The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Bernhard Schlagheck, in Abuja on Thursday warned corps members on the dangers of illegal migration to Europe, advising youths to shun the trend.
The ambassador gave the warning at a two-day lecture on “Dangers of illegal migration” held at the National Youth Service Corps Permanent Orientation Camp, Kubwa, Federal Capital Territory.
Schlagheck told corps members that Germany continues to grapple with the problem of Nigerians illegally migrating to the country, a trend that needs to end.
The German envoy said although with the support of the Nigerian Government, Germany has continued to successfully deport citizens living illegally, there were dangers in going to other countries without the legal procedures.
He therefore advised corps members not to be coaxed or forced into making such choices and to ensure they steer clear of human traffickers who get their victims through fake promises and “sweet talk.
“Aside from humanitarian grounds where an asylum seeker is allowed to remain in the country, the German government always tries to convince other individuals to go back to their country.
“Most times, once an illegal immigrants’ application to remain in the country is denied, we try to convince them to leave the country voluntarily as soon as possible.
“When they refuse to heed to this advice, we have no other option than to deport them with the support of the Nigerian government,” the envoy said.
The President, Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy, Dr. Martin Uhomoibhi, told corps members that most youths who have migrated illegally have lost their lives.
He therefore advised them against engaging in such acts, urging them to use legal procedures when and if they decide to leave the country.
An illegal migrant and artist, Mr. Sadiq Adeyemo, recounted his ordeal, saying that before he migrated to Europe, he sold his property in order to raise money for the journey.
Adeyemo said that he also collected money from his family and friends and sent it to his brothers’ friend who had promised to help him migrate and settle down in a foreign country.
He said that the brothers’ friend instructed him to travel from Lagos to Kano so that someone could meet him there and they could journey through the desert to Switzerland.
“We got to Switzerland, but I stayed there suffering for more than four years.
“When I got tired, I went straight to the Switzerland Embassy to submit myself so as to be sent back to Nigeria.
“I returned in 2016 and have since been doing well in my music career,” Adeyemo said.